Overview of initiative

In response to user feedback, Standards Australia is updating and modernising AS 4000—1997 General conditions of contract standard to reflect changes in legislation and case law over the last 25 years.

Challenges

Standards Australia typically reviews its standards every 5 to 10 years. Until recently, stakeholder interest in a review was low – however, recent engagement has exposed potential for a more targeted review of the standard, particularly in addressing 25 years of progressive legislation and case law.

Why is this important?

The review of AS 4000 is in response to feedback from users and industry. Industry still uses AS 2124 (the original standard) and AS 4000, but there is now wide acceptance of the balance of risk in AS 4000 and its associated suite of documents – case law is well-established.

AS 4000 provide industry with a cost-effective general conditions of contract, particularly for industries and organisations that have yet to develop their own custom contracts.

As AS 4000 is almost 25 years old, it needs to be updated, otherwise its value to users may start to erode.

Solutions

Standards Australia will:

  • Conduct a focussed review of AS 4000 with no change to allocation of risk.
  • Create a technical committee to:
    • Update the standard forms to reflect changes in the legislative and legal landscape. 
    • Consolidate, as much as possible, into a single form, replacing both the earlier forms of AS 2124 and AS 4000.  (AS 2124 would then be withdrawn from the market).
    • Contemporise the language.  
    • Include a preface on the intended use of the documents and copyright materials.

Following the update of AS 4000 and AS 4902, Standards Australia commits to review and update the complete suite of AS 4000-based documents [including the Administration manual for AS 4000—1997 General conditions of contract (HB 140-2000) ].

Contact

Robert Millar

Head of Strategic Initiatives
SI@standards.org.au