New panel to settle construction disputes

Construction disputes are to be settled by a new third party “Adjudication Panel” which has been set up by the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland(SCSI).

The move will see pay claims resolved by the independent body, and has been set up in response to provisions made in the 2013 Construction Act.
It is the first time that construction contract disputes will be settled in this way.

There will also be the opportunity to resolve disputes through a panel selected by the Employment and Small Business Ministry.
People in dispute can request the appointment of a nominated adjudicator from the Chartered Surveyors Society or the adjudicator can be picked specifically by the parties. The new process will apply to all construction contracts signed after July 25th of this year.

It is hoped that the new measures will speed up the dispute resolution process for all concerned.
Gerard O Sullivan, Chair of the Disputes Resolution Standing Committee at the SCSI said the Act introduces a statutory payment process which will aid cash flow in the construction industry and provide those involved with effective remedies where disputes arise.

“Very often existing processes are abused by the parties to delay paying otherwise legitimate claims. Adjudication is fundamentally different, providing a temporarily binding decision within a 28-day to 42 day period from the issue of the referral to the adjudicator.”
“If the losing party wishes to take the matter further to litigation they may do so but in the meantime they will have to abide by the adjudicator’s decision, which can be enforced by way of application to the Courts. This helps balance the financial inequality that often exists between the parties” he said.

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