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(CDR-1878) US Major Task Order Contracting and NZ Collaborative Alliances Comparison

Primary Author: Mr Jorge Andres Rueda-Benavides
Co-Author(s): Dr Eric Scheepbouwer; Dr Douglas D Gransberg PE CCP

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Application
Venue: 2015 AACE International Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Abstract: Project delivery models that use a relational contracting approach, and operate using an increasing level of integration for the delivery, are becoming more prevalent and are touted to be the “magic bullet” to eliminate disputes and maximize collaboration. Such contracting mechanisms, known in New Zealand as alliancing contracting, have been in use in this country for over two decades and are becoming ubiquitous in Australasia for the delivery of complex infrastructure construction projects. Alliancing’s key characteristic is a “no litigation” clause that has led US agencies to shy away from it as impossible to implement under US law. This paper argues that the US Department of Defense’s major task order contract is very similar to the collaborative alliance contract currently in use to deliver the massive reconstruction program estimated at approximately NZ$2.5 billion in Canterbury, New Zealand. The paper compares case studies of a US and a New Zealand project and finds that US public owners can accrue most of the advantages provided through alliancing contracting without the need to include a “no litigation” clause.