During the negotiation and resolution of delay and disruption disputes on construction projects, the use and misappropriation of float, and the question of float ownership, are considered to be a major concern to those involved. Most practitioners and authors are of the opinion that it is an issue that should be clearly defined and addressed within the provisions of the contract. However, the terms "float" or "ownership of float" are rarely mentioned (if at all) in most of the standard forms of Australian construction contracts, giving little guidance to those involved as to how this issue should be addressed. In October 2002 the United Kingdoms Society of Construction Law (SCL) published a Delay and Disruption Protocol (the Protocol) that contains a suggested approach to the issue. The aim of this research was to obtain a comparative opinion of those involved in the drafting of the Protocol‘s provisions, a US perspective and an Australian perspective of the suitability of the SCL‘s Delay and Disruption Protocols suggested approach to the issue of float and ownership of float for use by the Australian construction industry. Semi structured qualitative interviews were carried out with members of the SCL protocol‘s drafting committee and US and Australian construction industry experts experienced in the administration, negotiation, and resolution of delay and disruption disputes to obtain their opinions of the suitability of the SCL‘s proposed approach. An ethnographic content analysis was then undertaken of the interview transcripts in an attempt to identify any common themes in the participants‘ responses. Initial results indicate no general agreement or consensus concerning the potential benefits of the SCL‘s proposed approach to the ownership of float for the Australian construction industry, with the identification of a number of issues that would need to be addressed should the approach be adopted.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Construction and Property Conference (COBRA 2011). Proceedings of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Construction and Property Conference (Salford, UK 12-13 September, 2011) p. 548-563