Grant extension of time to contractors

File photo: Quality Concrete said the manufacturing segment had recorded higher revenue due to higher contribution from the pipe division as the Sarawak government has rolled out various water infrastructure projects.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Building and Civil Engineering Contractors Association (SBECECA) has urged the government to grant an extension of time (EOT) to contractors involved in government projects in the state.

In a statement issued today (June 15), the association said many contractors had failed to receive their payments because of the extension of the movement control order (MCO).  

“We have received feedback from contractors that some are still waiting for payments due for work completed in December 2020, particularly for projects under the federal implementing sectors.”

“We understand that most contractors had received payments for works carried out in January and February 2021 but somehow beyond the contractually obligated period which is contractual period of 44 days from the date receipt of the contractor claims.

“Therefore, we urge the government to ensure the agencies concerned follow the contractual requirement so that contractors do not have added cash flow problems.”

The association added government projects were moving slowly and some had been postponed beyond the contract periods. because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Except for the 84 days of EOT given in 2020 for the period from March 2020 to June 2020 for contractors in their projects, no more EOT has been granted despite numerous applications.

“As a result, projects that are past their contract completion dates are subject to Liquidated and Ascertained Damages, which are imposed or deducted from the payment due.

“We beseech top policies makers in the government to urgently provide clear guidelines to address this matter, like in 2020.”

The association added various standard operating procedures (SOPs) resulted in poor productivity with a shortage of workers.

“That is why we are proposing to the government to award 50% of the said time frame beginning from the conditional movement control order (CMCO) and the recovery movement control order (RMCO) as time extension to contractors.”

“We suggest a waiver of the Liquidated and Ascertained Damages for late completion to ease the contractors’ financial burden as our industry received little direct assistance and reliefs during this pandemic period.”

The association hoped that the government would consider its proposals for the benefits and fair justice of all contractors affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.