CIVL3813: Contracts Formulation and Management (2015 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL3813: Contracts Formulation and Management (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Liu, Li
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: The objectives of this unit are to give students a fundamental knowledge of the legal system and contract terms under which projects are generally conducted. Initially, emphasis will be on contract negotiations and understanding what negotiation is about and how to prepare for negotiations and also how to manage the negotiation so that a suitable outcome for both parties may be achieved. Also being able to deal with difficult opponents will be something that will be considered.

Emphasis will be on the principles of contract formulation, administration and finalisation, including prevention and/or settlement of disputes in projects. The syllabus comprises brief overview of the legal system in Australia and comparison with other legal systems introduction to project delivery systems and the running of a typical project, introduction to contract law and the formation of contracts, the principles of standard form contracts as well as bespoke drafting, an understanding of the risks undertaken by the different contracting parties, a detailed review of a standard contract promoting an understanding of major project issues such as time, variations and payment; implementation and administration; potential liabilities associated with project participation; contract conditions and specifications; understanding insurances and alternate dispute resolution procedures; notification requirements including time bar, understanding the commercial significance of issues such as latent conditions, subcontracting, bank guarantees and security of payment legislation.
Assumed Knowledge: CIVL3805. Students are expected to have grasped the concepts of basic legal and management principles and the understanding of construction and engineering terminologies. As there is no any prerequisite courses for this UoS, without prior knowledge student can perform exceptionally well with regular attendance and participation in course activities.
Additional Notes: ►For students in the BE Civil degree (or combined degrees with BE Civil) this unit is a 4th year elective. Please take careful note: It DOES NOT count as a third year elective.
►For students in the BE Project Engineering and Management (Civil) degree this is a 3rd year core unit.
Lecturer/s: Perisa, Natalie
Tutor/s: t.b.a.
Timetable: CIVL3813 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 6.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Students will be given case studies to work through problems to reinforce the fundamentals of each weekly subject.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Practice in reading and administering contracts, and ensuring appropriate documentation, in tutorials and exams. Information Seeking (Level 2)
Practice in communicating a contractual position to relevant audiences in tutorial and lecture activities. Communication (Level 3)
Practice in interpreting and applying the law of contracts, as it relates to managing engineering and construction contracts in tutorials and exams. Professional Conduct (Level 2)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Information Seeking (Level 2)
1. Be able to read and understand the basic requirements of an engineering or construction contract, including the rights and obligations of each party, the order of precedence of contract documents, and time restrictions.
2. Develop a working knowledge of the appropriate documentation required when administering contracts, giving/receiving notices, claims, applications for variations/extensions of time/payment.
Communication (Level 3)
3. Be able to communicate effectively, clearly and concisely a contractual position to the relevant audience.
4. Be able to recognise the importance of effective communication in a dispute forum, including principled negotiation.
Professional Conduct (Level 2)
5. Be able to identify the requirements for the formation of valid contracts.
6. Be able to understand how contract clauses deal with major issues such as time, claims, variations, and payment.
7. Be able to identify issues which may give rise to disputes, and appreciate how to minimise and manage disputes.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Mid-Sem Quiz No 20.00 Week 6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
2 Assignment No 30.00 Multiple Weeks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
3 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
Assessment Description: Mid-Sem Exam: Multiple-choice exam based on the first half of the semester lectures.

Assignment: Written. maximum 3000 words.

Final Exam: Combined multiple-choice and long form problem question exam testing subjects taught throughout the semester
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to the subject, to engineering and construction projects, to Standard Form Contract AS 4300-1995, an outline of the Australian legal system; parliament and the courts.
Week 2 Basics of contract formation; offer, acceptance, consideration, intention to create legal relations, capacity.
Week 3 Payment and security of payment, including the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW).
Week 4 The terms of the contract and standard of performance, how to read contract documents, how terms are implied, rules of interpretation, qualtiy of work, defects.
Week 5 Tenders and project delivery models.
Week 6 Time part 1 - practical completion, extnesions of time, liquidated damages.
Assessment Due: Mid-Sem Quiz
Week 7 Time part 2 - programming and float, acceleration, delay and disruption.
Week 8 Variations, what are they, time and cost consequences.
Week 9 The Superintendent and security for performance, injunctions.
Week 10 Other legal and practical project issues including latent conditions, subcontracting, novation, insurance, indemnities.
Week 11 Disputes part 1 - claims, notices, time bars, record keeping, pro-formas, checklists, suspension.
Week 12 Disputes part 2 - breach of contract, essential terms, default and insolvencey, repudiation, termination.
Week 13 Dispute resolution methods, litigation, arbitration, mediation, conciliation, expert determination, adjudication, negotiation.
STUVAC (Week 14) Consolidate knowledge from first half of semester, note relevant clauses of standard form contract.
Exam Period Review tutorial materials for long form problem question solving examples.
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) (till 2012) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Arts 2011
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Commerce 2010, 2011
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011
Civil (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Environmental) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Structures) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil 2015
Civil / Arts 2015
Civil / Science 2015
Civil (Construction Management) 2015
Civil (Environmental) 2015
Civil (Geotechnical) 2015
Civil (Structures) 2015
Flexible First Year (Stream A) / Science 2012
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010
Civil / Commerce 2015
Civil / Design in Architecture 2015
Civil / Medical Science 2015

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Information Seeking (Level 2) Yes 20.01%
Communication (Level 3) Yes 32.01%
Professional Conduct (Level 2) Yes 48.01%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.