The 2016 improvements to the WA Construction Contracts Act

February 15, 2017 by Mr Job Done

.

 Learn all about the new changes to the WA Security of Payments Act.

. …and how to use them.

There have been significant changes made to the WA Construction Contracts Act that will heavily impact the invoice and payment claim process for both claimants and approvers. The ever amazing Anthony Igra from Contractors Debt Recovery has clearly summarised three of the major changes regarding the processes, we’ve highlighted them below.

CHANGE ONE

The first major change is the window in which you can apply for adjudication:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

CHANGE TWO

Previously submitted UNPAID/ PART-PAID Invoices/Claims can now be re-submitted and subsequently adjudicated.

A payment claim:

  • means a claim made under a construction contract
    • by the contractor to the principal for the payment of an amount in relation to the performance by the contractor of its obligations under the contract; or
    • by the principal to the contractor for payment of an amount in relation to the performance or non-performance by the contractor of its obligations under the contract;

AND

  • includes a payment claim that includes matters covered by a previous payment claim.

CHANGE THREE

Determinations may be enforced as orders of the Court without getting the determination signed or seeking leave of the court.

43. Determinations may be enforced as judgments.

  • (2) A party entitled to be paid an amount under a determination may enforce the determination by filing in a court of competent jurisdiction –
    • A copy of determination that the Building Commissioner has certified to be a true copy; and
    • an affidavit as to the amount not paid under the determination
  • (3) On filing under subsection (2), the determination is taken to be an order of the court and may be enforced accordingly.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES

You need to be able to identify what a “Payment Dispute” is, and when it arises, because that milestone event starts the clock ticking on the 90 business day window to adjudication.

Payment Dispute

  • (1) For the purposes of this Act, a payment dispute arises if
    • (aa) a payment claim is rejected or wholly or partly disputed;

OR

    • (a) by the time when the amount claimed in a payment claim is due to be paid under the contract, the amount has not been paid in full; or
    • (b) by the time when any money retained by a party under the contract is due to be paid under the contract, the money has not been paid; or
    • (c) by the time when any security held by a party under the contract is due to be returned under the contract, the security has not been returned.
  • (2) The claim cannot contain matters that have been already adjudicated
  • (3) If a payment dispute arises under both subsection (1)(aa) and (a) in relation to a payment claim then, for the purposes of this Act, the dispute arises on the earlier of the 2 occurrences.

 

REJECTION

The rejection of, or disputing of, a payment claim may take two forms:

  • As per the contract process for contesting, assessing claims
  • As a Formal Notice of Dispute [see Division 5. s.7] if the contract has no provisions on the process. A notice of Dispute needs to satisfy this section of the Act and can do so in many forms. i.e. a letter, a contract notice…

BUT… these MUST be in written form.

THEN… you must know THE DATE the dispute arises.

 

CONTRACTORS DEBT RECOVERY

 

If you want to know more about the changes to the WA Construction Contracts Act you can contact Anthony Igra from Contractors Debt Recovery on:

Email: contact@contractorsdebtrecovery.com.au
Phone: 1300 669 075
 
 

HOW PROGRESSCLAIM.COM CAN HELP:

These changes to the Act really mean that both parties need to keep solid records of their claims and correspondence, as the door is now wide open now for both parties to dispute a claim at any stage for any amount. There needs to be evidence that they were SOPA-compliant from the start of a project to finish.

Progressclaim.com bridges this gap by providing an easy-to-use, real-time, online collaboration platform. Developed specifically around construction needs, it works by allowing contract parties to collaborate transparently on a neutral platform, eliminating the need for endless spreadsheet reconciliations, email trails, and heated phone calls.

Progressclaim.com reduces cost, drives efficiency, improves returns and reduces risk, by delivering immediate benefits that grow over time:

  • Cost reductions: measurable savings in contract administration management, reductions of up to 50%
  • Time savings: collaborative automation, efficiency, and transparency
  • Risk control: Security Of Payments Act certified across all states, reduced disputes, and adjudication

 
 

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"What used to take me two days, now takes me two hours. Because Progressclaim.com is online, adminstration of the monthly payment claim cycle is less time consuming and much easier to manage. No more processing everything on a spreadsheet prone to error, and the assessment can be carried out at the touch of a button."

PAUL LINKE

Contract Administrator, BUILT