Should Additional Preliminaries be evaluated on recurring costs basis or actual costs incurred?

Preliminaries is that part of the Bills of Quantities which describes the project and contract particulars, lists the contractor’s general obligations, states works, goods, materials by others, parties obligations and liabilities, general facilities, etc.

Preliminaries, which form part of the Bills of Quantities is normally priced by the Contractor separately from the trade or elemental bills for the duration of the contract.

In the monthly progress payment valuation, the Quantity Surveyor (QS) often divides the Preliminaries items into three categories, namely initial and final portions are fixed costs payable during commencement and at completion, the recurring cost items are usually spread proportionately over the whole contract completion period.

When there is a disruption or delay in the works, which leads to an extended period of the contract, it is usual that additional preliminaries are claimed and payable over the extended period. Additional preliminaries are in fact part of a loss and/or expense claim. These additional preliminaries should be based on actual cost incurred by the Contractor.

However, in practice, a simple and quick method to account for these additional preliminaries costs is using the recurring costs, based upon estimation or pro-rated time basis from the priced preliminaries are in the Bills of Quantities. The initial and final preliminaries items are usually not included in the calculation as these are one off cost and usually not increased over an extended period of the contract.

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