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What Are the Main FIDIC General Administrative Conditions of Contract Clauses Frequently Applied in Practice?

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Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs – Conseils (from French, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers). Founded in 1913 by three countries, each wholly or partly francophone, specifically Belgium, France and Switzerland. There are now 78 Member Associations from all over the world

Currently located at the World Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

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The NBS Contracts and Law Survey indicates that one of the areas that participants found difficult in international projects was the use of unfamiliar contract forms. This article by Koko Udom, former Head of Contacts and Law at NBS, briefly introduces the FIDIC contracts which are reputed as the leading contracts in international engineering and construction projects. FIDIC is a French language acronym for Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils, which means the international federation of consulting engineers. It was started in 1913 by the trio of France, Belgium and Switzerland. The United Kingdom joined the Federation in 1949. FIDIC is headquartered in Switzerland and now boasts of membership from over 60 different countries. Over the years, FIDIC has become famous for its secondary activity of producing standard form contracts for the construction and engineering industry. FIDIC published its first contract, titled The Form of contract for works of Civil Engineering construction, in 1957. As the title indicated, this first contract was aimed at the Civil Engineering sector and it soon became known for the colour of its cover, and thus, The Red Book

It has become the tradition that FIDIC contracts are known in popular parlance by the colour of their cover. This first contract by FIDIC was undertaken jointly with the International federation of Building and Public works. FIDIC’s concerted effort at achieving broad consultation and acceptance of its contract forms has seen subsequent editions of its contracts being ratified by the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Association, Associated General Contractors of America and the Inter-American Federation of the Construction Industry, Multilateral Development Banks among others. Because of the broad support it enjoys, FIDIC contracts are the foremost contracts in international construction.

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In the final analysis, the role of the DAB chairman is mentioned but remains undefined within the FIDIC Conditions of Contract

The chairman undertakes an important role within the procedure which may determine the success or failure of the process. He must retain the confidence and respect of the parties and his fellow board members and must ensure that the administration of the DAB runs smoothly and the ethics of the board remain unchallengeable.

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