P.W.D Form of Contract 203/203A (Revised 2007)
These are the traditional forms of contract based on drawings and specification (203) or bills of quantities (203A) produced for use in public sector or government projects in both building and civil engineering contracts. Generally it can be said that a majority of the risks have been transferred to the contractor under these standard forms of contract and this remains true with the 2007 version.
Although the forms are considered biased in favour of the Government it ie evident that the Government have been on the losing side in a number of legal and contractual disputes. The standard form is generally used in conjunction with the accompanying standard administrative forms which have been produced specifically for use with the contract forms and in many instances enhance the obligations contained within the conditions of contract.
Generally the Contractor is allowed to claim for extensions to the contract period for various circumstances deemed the Governments risks, but generally not for loss and expense as a result of such. One other oddity is the fact that no retention money is withheld from payments. A contractor whose employment is terminated will be blacklisted from undertaking future Government projects and there is no provision for the contractor determining his own employment with the Government.
It is not uncommon for these standard forms to be adopted and used in private sector projects with amendments made to reflect the change in Employer.
It should be noted that although the PWD forms of contract are used extensively on nearly all government projects there are some exceptions such as projects which receive funding from the World Bank or Asian Development Bank which adopt variants of the FIDIC Forms of Contract.