NEC requirement to act in a “spirit of mutual trust and co-operation”

The opening clauses of the ECC contract brings two very important issues to the fore, that 1) everyone named and involved with the contract has to do what it says, and 2) do this in a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation. NEC3 used to state this in one single clause (10.1) where it stated “and” between the two elements, rather than doing one or the other. NEC4 now breaks this into two separate clauses, where 10.1 states all Parties are to “act as stated in the contract” and 10.2 now brings in the obligation to “act in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation.

Very simply this means that both Parties should follow everything that the contract requires you to do, and do this in a trustful collaborative manner. If the parties seemingly get on well together then this should NOT be at the expense of following what the contract says. Indeed, following the contract should heighten the understanding and awareness between the parties which should naturally aid the “mutual trust and cooperation” process.

Whilst it could be considered subjective as to what “acting in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation is”, it should be considered as being truthful, not deceitful, responding as quick as possible rather than always taking the full time allowed, putting in realistic quotations and making fair assessments (rather than trying to get away with things).