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Contracting Excellence in Procurement and Supply - Legal Aspects of Commercial Contracts

The purpose of this assignment is to analyze the terms and conditions of Qatargas Company Contracts (EPC Call-Off Contracts in specific for this Assignment). Use at least 2 types of CIPS tools/ models analysis. Conclusion and Recommendations should be separated each in a separate page.

Task - Select a contract that is used by your organisation. Assess the contractual terms and their impact on the distribution of power and risk between the supplier and your organisation.

Solution - LEGAL ASPECTS OF COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS

TO ANALYZE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF QATAR GAS COMPANY CONTRACTS (EPC CALL-OFF CONTRACTS IN SPECIFIC FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT)

Executive Summary

The present assignment is initiated with the purpose of analyzing terms and conditions of EPC Call-Off Contracts adhering to Qatar Gas Company. As the business conducts deal with supplier and buyer relationships there are possible ways of risks to reduce the efficacy of the business project undertaken. For this process the foremost step is to identify the risks, followed by analysis of those risk factors. The response towards risks in the form of mitigation shall strategically orient the consequences of risk overcoming events. In the next section of the assignment there are power distribution analysis discussed. The usual trends of power wants from buyer and supplier ends are found out. However, it is later that addressing the EPC Call-Off Contractual terms and conditions that the distribution of power towards buyers and suppliers are manifested. The inferences drawn from the different sections of the assignment help in formulating conclusion and recommendation for this assignment.

Introduction

The contract that Qatar Gas Company adheres to is EPC Call-Off Contracts, which shall be brought to analysis in the current frame. Firstly, EPC stands for the abbreviation Engineering Procurement Construction. This is identified as a prominent agreement form that has most relevance when applied within the construction industry. It is adhering to this contractual agreement that the engineer and construction contractor shall be allocated the responsibility to layout the project design (Hunter, 2017). In the present case when such a contract is suggested to be applied within Qatar Gas Company the design shall be formulated to execute the project following different phases. It is within the agreed time and stipulated budget that the EPC Contractors who are responsible for delivering the raw materials and equipments of projects shall be executing their tasks. However, in this processes of fulfilling the contractual project outcome breach of terms and conditions shall lead to formulation of risks and challenges. Once agreed upon the denoted time allocated to accomplish the project it has to be accomplished within that limit. The budgetary constraints also have to be controlled. In case of failing to maintain these two precursors the EPC Contract is likely to encounter with risks towards the company which endures it.

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The present assignment is initiated with the purpose of analyzing the terms and conditions of the contracts undertaken by Qatar Gas Company with special reference to EPC Call-Off Contracts. The risks associated with this contract agreement shall be discussed in depth. After the possible risks are identified they are analyzed and subsequent management of the risks is undertaken simultaneously. It is on the basis of assessment that the power distribution shall simultaneously be taken into consideration. The desired power demanded and claimed by the suppliers are to be discussed. However, the contract is found to lay down a specific distribution of power which shall be put forth. The final inferences and recommendations from the assignment shall be undertaken in the final phase of this assignment.

Assessment of risk in contract

Key risks

When Qatar Gas Company decides to indulge in the EPC Call-Off Contract terms and conditions, the possible areas of uncertainties were evident (Gillies, 2016). After application of this contractual terms and conditions the major risk sources were necessarily identified. Each of those risks was subsequently quantified to judge with respect to the probability and the impact attributes associated with the project undertaken by the mentioned company. The complexities in the way of constructing the project infrastructure within Qatar Gas Company are addressed widely once risks were accurately identified.

The present risk evaluation process depicts the current terms and conditions of EPC Call-Off Contracts establishing effects upon Qatar Gas Company. The graphical representation simply be manifests probability and impact correlation and proportionality. When probability is low, the impacts are low as well. Hence when a high impact is found to be created, the probability score is likely to rise as well in terms of risk chances. Therefore, probability and impact can be acknowledged as two variables which are correlated and are directly proportional to one another. The EPC Call-Off Contracts shall be applied keeping this equation in mind. The probability of risks through delay in delivery, damages in quality standards, and lowered safety conditions can possibly heighten chances of higher impacts in terms of decreased performance, low guarantee and subcontracting. Hence when Qatar Gas Company implies the EPC Call-Off Contract terms for project outcomes the probability of risks seem to create directly proportional relationship with risk impacts.

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It is on the basis of the experiences and practical instances shared by engineers, managers and supervisors that the possible risks and ways in which they can be tackled are undertaken (Teubner, 2019). The risks encountered at different levels of the projects shall be discussed during planning stage while the new project at Qatar Gas Company shall be undertaken. The expected risk outcomes can be manifested in the forms of:

  • The uncertainty of unforeseen situation may result in a challenging event
  • The estimates of budgets stipulated within a limited allocation of time being deviated while executing the project
  • Large gaps between the actual and the estimated plans of cost and raw materials used for the accomplishment of the project
  • Likelihood of huge losses as an impact of mismatch between plans and actual outcomes

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Risk assessment

On the basis of the risks possible to encounter within EPC Call-Off Contract there are challenges faced in the form of intention of fraud by the participants of project. Conflict of Interest and Ethics is that term which is analyzed to be impacted in this section where breach of ethics has been manifested to create opportunities for risk. The contract essentially takes the ethical attributes of conducting business practices as the central focus area (Baamir, 2016). In terms of projects being build up in a particular country or any organization the evidences of prior corruption practices have to be undertaken. It is many cases found that the contractor executives are found convicted and guilty. As a result of which they even have to serve a prison time in terms of bribing the government officials and authorities to get their project accomplished.

In cases where large amounts of monetary aspects are involved in such projects associating large scale business enterprises the culture of corruption along with bribery seems to exist in the contemporary years. Willful misconduct is another term within the contract where culture oriented corruptions is manifested. There are certain risk taking challenging contractors involved n such practices where involving in unscrupulous acts are undertaken even at the high end risk of bearing penalty charges in terms of legal confrontation. There are prisons which act as home for individuals enacting and indulging in broke and anti-corruption prohibitions against their unacceptable corruption acts across the world.

There are ways of mitigating such risks substantially raised against the fraudulent actions by project participants. The contract itself needs to serve as the medium to reflect the behavior that break the ethical consideration. The distinct statements written within the contract shall be a vivid documentation of the contractual violation undertaken by project participants or contractors related in unethical behavior. It is the contractors who shall be held primarily responsible for the application of requirements of existing laws and documents adhering to contractual terms for the project undertaken. As the strong process of mitigation towards the above risk identified continued vigilance is supposed to be channelized from pre-award negotiation phase to completion of the project. This is likely to direct minimization of possibilities t encounter and entangle into corruptions in the business processes within Qatar Gas Company.

It is found that contractual terms and condition under EPC Call-Off Contract are agreed by both the owners which is the Qatar Gas Company and their contractors (Potter, 2017). The optimum value allocated for the execution and accomplishment of the project in Qatar Gas Company is necessary to be negotiated and met on a common agreement to decide upon the commission fee, gifts, rebates and the entertainment aspects. The clause within the agreement shall be stated in such a manner where no surplus value shall be entertained in terms of commission, gifts, and fee.

The other manifestation of possible risk encountered within the implementation of EPC Call-Off Contract is the risk of weather interruptions in the workflow. As the Qatar Gas Company projects take place in remote regions and outdoor weather tends to be a strong determining agent where unfavorable conditions in these attributes can cause severe interruptions with the projects undertaken.

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There is certain clause included within the contract terms that allow partial or full day compensation towards construction workers within the event. It is weather which shall prevent or prohibit the workers from delivering the project outputs within the stipulated time constraint. However, there are ambiguities and lack of clarity in the statement of the contractual terms whether the cost and responsibility adhering to the inability to work or prohibition caused due to weather will be borne by the owners or the contractors. The responsibility for the delays and the cost margin expansions are never distinctively stated as terms and conditions within the contract adhering to unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances. In most of the cases there are experienced contractors who will include the surplus adhering to anticipated unforeseen uncertain conditions during project completion. This may balance the weather related claims against the owners' quotes for project costs.

For mitigating weather condition related risks arising in between project completion documents of the contracts are suggested to constitute weather related risk terms separately from the conventional project events. The party shall be held responsible for the risks for defining the unusual severity in weather conditions (Hughes, Champion & Murdoch, 2015). Contractors are mostly convinced with such clause to undertake unforeseen unpredictable conditions and risks directed towards the project constraints. In order to avoid unreasonable claims from contractors against delays and additional costs required for the weather related uncertainties.

How the contract manages these risks

As there are probabilities of risks arising adhering to varied situations in executing the project undertaken by Qatar Gas Company, there are needs for managing the possible risks. EPC Call-Off Contract needs to address the risks that are potential to cause interference and interruption in the completion of the project. Following these anticipated risks as the basis of uncertainty a structured design and procedural intervention has to be prepared for the risks to get managed. After appropriate identification processes are undertaken to locate risks the correct analysis of their severity shall create a clearer picture for future. In order to mitigate those possible risk areas strategic outcomes have to be laid down.

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Tolerance: The discrepancies in the planned and existing outcomes of project shall not be tolerated. The lack of tolerance shall lead to pave way for mitigation of risks and strategically implement management ways. Be it in terms of cost and budget stipulation or the time allocation every factor exceeded in due course of project completion shall be possible to overcome with proper strategic implementation.

Transfer: the suppliers of the project or contractors shall be transferred when mismatch in decisions take place with owners (Knapp, Crystal & Prince, 2019). As the global standards are set varied theoretical studies adhering to project risks shall accompany the formation and development of project markets. Economic recoveries shall be possible for large scale organizations if the correct proportion and balanced utilization of resources are maintained throughout project accomplishment.

Terminations: it is on the basis of the assessment that termination of responsibilities shall help mitigate the risks in the project. They shall approach in the following ways. For managing the risks within the projects there are either qualitative or quantitative methods to be approached with. In terms of qualitative risk management method mostly the checklist and project lifecycle procedure is undertaken. The other means can be decision trees and intrinsic link table or rating grids. In terms of quantitative risk management processes the methods to be implemented can be possibly manifested through probability theory, fuzzy logic theory and multi-attribute preference theory.

Treat: in order to provide solution to the risk areas guarantee generated to support the financial aspects sourced from the banks shall enable in supporting the project. Insurances and warrantees received from suppliers shall be sustained to treat the gaps in project enabling risk mitigation process.

There are essentially four stages in which risks within the project can be managed with the help of implementing the contractual terms and conditions (Haigh, 2018). The first stage shall be the correct and accurate identification of risks; the second stage shall be analysis of those risks identified. The third stage shall be to respond to each of those identified risk zones through strategic manifestations and the fourth and final stage shall be to control the risk impacts effectually. One impactful and long term control method in terms of minimizing risks is identified as the acquisition of feedbacks against the systems or project execution. This shall keep the risk management process effectual to create an active and dynamic means of managing the risks associated with the project.

  • EPC contractor engineering management to enable organizational designs and plan designing organization
  • Claim for bad transportation, contractors have to ensure no suffering to be caused while negotiation
  • Choosing transportation routes shall be in the hands of contractors
  • Charge of procedures and tasks shall be under departments of contractors to ensure efficiency
  • All raw materials and equipments necessary have to be maintained and looked after by the contractors to avoid unfavorable circumstances and chaos

By implementing the HSE Management system the eight elements shall help the strategic implementation for mitigating the possible risk areas (Habibi, 2018). Assessment, implementation, programming, estimate or risk management, resource documents, organization, guidance and strategy goals and guidance and promise are the eight domain of risk mitigation.

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Risks Identified

Risk Mitigation

Probability

Impact

Uncertainty related with unpredictable and unforeseen situation resulting in a challenging event

In case of unforeseen adversities contract will allow buyers to transfer contractors in terms of mismatched decision making

High

High

Deviated estimates of budgets planned within a limited allocation of time while executing the project

Tolerance level is reduced to bear deviation in time and cost fixed by budgets in the projects

High

High

Discrepancies between the estimated and actual plans of cost and raw materials required during the project fulfillment

Keeping power of termination in hands of owners to mitigate such risks during project tenure with the help of the EPC Call-Off Contract

Medium

Medium

Probability of huge losses as an impact of discrepancies between plans and their subsequent outcomes

Gaining help from banks to support financial aspects and obtain insurance to mitigate risks of such losses

High

High

My assessment and recommendations

It is course of the above discussion that certain major understandings are derived. With respect to project undergone within Qatar gas Company Contracts, the EPC Call-Off Contracts are necessary to be analyzed and formulated. There are potential risk areas identified with effect to the contractual term ambiguities and uncertainties associated with outcomes of the projects. Uncertainty of unpredictable situation across the project shall pose challenges within the project process and progress (Xue, 2016). The deviation from stipulated estimates of budgets to build the cost plan and the anticipated time limit to pose constraints within the project shall create a risk opportunity. There are possibilities of gaps existing between the actual and the planned and the actual requirements of raw materials and costs that were undertaken in course of the project. In order to mitigate the risks possible to be encountered there are certain management strategies to be imbibed within the project process.

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It is recommended that:

Contractual documents under EPC Call-Off Contract are agreed by both Qatar gas Company and the contractors involved in the agreement

The costs associated on weather related issues are already included as anticipated costs within plan of project

It is the contractors who has power to decide cost of transportation and logistics

The cost budgets and raw materials are decided and finalized by the owners, i.e. Qatar gas Company after taking mutual consent from their contractors

Assessment of distribution of power

Supplier Power wants:

Increased Profits: When Qatar gas Company Contracts are found to carry out their projects in association with contractual deals and agreements between suppliers or contractors and owners or buyers there are certain specific wants reflected. Suppliers are often found sensitive on pricing factors (Nolden, Sorrell & Polzin, 2016). The cost switching between suppliers shall restore the supplier power of bargaining over the owners or buyers. When the suppliers of Qatar gas Company Contracts are found to meet the product demands effectually, the power of the suppliers rise. When the buyers are not price sensitive in nature, the suppliers gain power of bargaining. When the product differentiation rates are high among suppliers of Qatar gas Company Contracts the power of the suppliers shall get accelerated. The lack of substitute products and services available in the market at cheaper costs create a high demand of the product from single supplier. It is then that power of the supplier enhances.

Payment: In terms of payments suppliers are at a powerful edge over buyers when the price kept by them is maintained and agreed upon by the owners or buyers. In terms of high product differentiation power of suppliers remain high as well to create dominance over the payment means. While carrying out bargaining and pricing negotiation, the lack of replaceable products for Qatar gas Company Contracts shall create a powerful edge for suppliers. This shall enable payment to be a determinant where suppliers are expected to be at an advantage. The company withholds the taxes to make contractors obligatory to inform the company.

Agreed scope of work: When the business terms and conditions are undertaken, the scope of work often becomes a determinant to raise conflict and chaos between buyer and supplier. There are issues related with choice of raw materials, route of transportation, costs and pricing against the flow of supplies and the time limits of availability of the supplies. When the alternate products and services are rare and costly in markets the suppliers have a superior edge over the scope of work attribute.

Long-term: Suppliers have the desire to create superiority over projects and contracts with buyers in terms of fixing the tenure of association. They intend to usually keep a long term supply relationship to be established with the buyers to get a stead business ongoing in the markets.

Local agents: Suppliers endeavor to create close network with local agents where the organization of Qatar gas Company Contracts conducts their business (Grundestam, 2016). This shall allow the suppliers to get channeled with the business firms easily.

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Buyer Power wants:

Quality Guaranteed, terms and conditions apply: Buyers have preference towards acquiring products and services that are assured in quality standards. Suppliers providing guarantee and warrantees against the products they provide that help establish power with buyers.

Quality Guaranteed Payment: Buyers and owners are often extra conscious and alert when it comes to settle payments with suppliers. Products and services received are assessed on quality values to understand the cost parameter balancing it out.

No commitments: Buyers usually refrain from getting associated into any long-term relationships with particular suppliers. The competitive markets are tried to be addressed with best quality and latest products. Comparing from markets continually gives them sources of higher quality of supplies. Commitment with a particular supplier shall limit the scopes of exploring and comparing and getting better standards of products.

The timescale schedules: As owners or buyers are responsible directly for the completion of project undertaken and suppliers are indirectly linked the former has greater liabilities to fulfill the time criteria and deadlines (Devanaboyina, 2016). Hence, timescale schedules are kept under their vigilance to schedule the supply deliveries and reschedule the next product supplies.

Termination at convenience: Owners or buyers wish to keep terms and condition within contracts with suppliers that include flexibility in relationship with each other. There might be better products and service standards in search than the existing suppliers. Qatar Company keeps the power of termination of contract to themselves over contractors. The easy termination clause included in the contract shall allow owners or buyers to end the term with the existing suppliers without bearing any liability or hassle.

Good price: Getting the best value for price they suggest is the prime motto of all owners or buyers in the market (Faruqui, 2016). When Qatar gas Company Contracts engages in contractual terms with their contractors or suppliers they would prefer to incorporate the term or condition to get the best value against price. The most affordable rates against the products in the markets shall be assured for them.

Audit: Audit reflects the effectiveness of the project underwent through supplies, timely deliveries and cost effective conducts. In order to analyze the project plan and match the desired with actual, auditing power is tried to be kept with the owners or buyers.

Inspection: Quality standards and efficacy in cost demarcations are the prime determinants for buyers (Fennell, 2018). It is following the inspection terms that Qatar Gas Company is found to test and certify the quality standards of the services underwent. When products are supplied to owners they are subjected to inspections to analyze whether they received best value against the money thy expended for the project.

Control subcontract: Each of the factors included within the contract shall be constitute the sub contractual terms and conditions. The buyers or owners endeavor to establish control upon the sub contract aspects so that decision making power is kept securely with them.

What power we want

When the external analysis are conducted a mutual agreement and understanding between the suppliers and the buyers are tried to be maintained (Muller & Falk, 2018). Achieving the profitable outcomes are intended at the mos. Increased sales of products by creating high edge product differentiation in market shall allow the power to be restored. In order t address the environmental competitive climate, the ability to produce quality driven products at affordable and best prices shall be most valued.

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How the contract distributes this power

It is adhering to the terms and conditions of EPC Call-Off Contracts within Qatar gas Company that a certain distribution of power is distinctively created. As the owner and contractors are decided to agree to mutually settled outcomes a negotiated approach is decided to be applied in terms of power distribution for undertaking the projects. The quality assured products, certified warrantee attached services from supplier ends are demanded by buyers as the power distribution within the contract. Payments due from owners are needed t be cleared where suppliers shall have a power to speak. Deciding upon logistics and transportation services to reach the supply materials to owners are powers that are allocated to suppliers or contractors. The scope of work delineates effective completion of the project within stipulated budgetary constraints ad time limitations (Habibi & Kermanshachi, 2018). The suppliers can lead to delays hence the owners are subjected to be allocated the power to undertake the domains. Performing quality inspections and getting good price for products shall be other areas of power allocated to the owners or buyers of the project under contractual terms and conditions of Qatar gas Company.

My assessment and recommendations

Power distribution marks to be a significant decisive attribute in maintaining and ensuring effective accomplishment of the project undertaken (Olubodun, 2015). For Qatar gas Company to engage in EPC Call-Off Contractual intricacies, specific terms and conditions to decide the distribution of power towards suppliers or contractors and owners or buyers shall be decided. The usual trends of allocation of power and endeavors of acquiring power areas are stated. However, the present contract demands and power distributions are simultaneously established in the present case.

Conclusion

Qatar Gas Company implies the EPC Call-Off Contract to follow definite terms and conditions. The risks while implementing the contractual progress in a project are tried to be identified, assessed and their subsequent mitigation ways are formulated. Risk management areas are designs as graphically represented with impact and probability of risk paradigms. The power distribution in terms of Qatar Gas Company contract terms are illustrated where domains of power are segregated among buyers and suppliers. The recommendations are suggested for each section of assignment in course of the contractual terms and conditions.

Recommendations

In case of Qatar gas Company the time constraint and cost budget limitation established for allocating powers to the buyers or owners instead of suppliers for best outcomes.

In terms of cost of transportation extra product and service quality maintenance charges are standardized by the suppliers or contractors.

Developing a bridge of healthy negotiation between suppliers and Qatar gas Company is likely to ensure accomplishment of project effectually.

A mutually agreed contractual term for termination is stipulated for Qatar gas Company contractual terms and conditions for mitigating unforeseen accidental events during project Termination is listed as that term of contract which needs to be stipulated within Qatar Gas Company agreements.

Amendments regarding risk factors caused due to lack of inspection, breach of contract, lack of mention of termination, conflict of interest shall be addressed.

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