Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Implications of Non-standard Contract Terms

Your comments requested by November 29th

ACA received a grant from the Government of Alberta to examine the risk and cost implications on contractors from non-standard contract terms. The purpose of this examination is to reduce the significant risk to the continued operations of small to medium size contractors due to their potential lack of understanding of the risk and cost implications within the terms of non-standard commercial contracts.  This work supports ACA advocacy for owners to adopt standard CCDC contracts.

ACA recruited a small industry advisory group of Alberta general contractors from the ACA membership.  The Advisory Group recommended the project focus on common commercial terms found in contracts utilized by Alberta public sector owners, given the frequency of use of these contracts and because these owners tend to share their contracts more so than is true of private owners.  The document identifies approximately a dozen areas of concern prevalent in public owner contracts. Beyond comments received from the Advisory Group, outside legal counsel also provided comments.  We are now at the final draft seeking one last round of review.

ACA has two requests for member response by November 29th, please email

  1. Please provide substantive comments or additions, accompanied by an actual sample clause from a public owner contract. ACA does not want to add any issues without actual contract samples to reference.
  2. For each individual issue (issues 1-11, 12 a –d) identified in the document respond to the following question:

What was the impact on bidding a project if this clause was in a contract on a previous job (if you are a sub or supplier, the provision was contained in your contract with the prime):

  • Definitely wouldn’t bid, irrespective of availability of other work
  • Likely wouldn’t bid, but depends on availability of other work
  • would bid but add a material amount to the bid, (including some guidance on how your members would define “a material amount”, for example, >0.5% of the contract price)
  • would bid without adding to bid price on expectation to negotiate to address post-award

Non-Standard contract document Oct 11 2017