Most, if not all, construction contracts used around the world usually have provisions for the retention of certain amount of monies due to the Contractor by the Employer. This retention sum is normally retained by the Employer throughout the contract period, and usually beyond the construction period up to the expiry of defects liability period.
Release of the retention sum is usually done in two portions. The first is called the one moiety, where half of the retention sum is usually released with the issuance of the Certificate of Practical Completion, and the remainder is usually released after the expiry of the Certificate of Making Good Defects by the Architect / Engineer / SO.
Retention sums, however, may be subjected to set-off by the Employer in accordance with the provisions in the contract.