10 mis­takes in con­struc­tion con­tracts (and how to avoid them) — Always trou­ble with the GAEB file (10)*.

It is true: clients do not only accept the GAEB file. Often, they even demand it. Nev­er­the­less, the fol­low­ing applies: Cau­tion!

What does the client real­ly require?

Some clients spec­i­fy that a GAEB file must be com­plet­ed and sub­mit­ted. Oth­ers make it option­al, but explic­it­ly mark it as a pos­si­bil­i­ty. Still oth­ers seem to have nev­er heard the term “GAEB” (hap­pens!). Of those that require or even allow a GAEB file, some also want a com­plet­ed PDF. Still oth­ers are sat­is­fied with the GAEB file or a PDF. In short, it’s a mud­dle! All you can do: read care­ful­ly and, if nec­es­sary, ask what is want­ed.

The trou­ble with the ver­sion

You know the drill. Dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions of GAEB files have dif­fer­ent exten­sions. Not all of them are com­pat­i­ble with every pro­gram. If you fill the bill of quan­ti­ties with an out­dat­ed pro­gram, you will quick­ly end up with com­plete chaos. And chaos is usu­al­ly at the expense of the bid­der. It is there­fore not enough to deter­mine exact­ly which GAEB file must be sub­mit­ted. You should also pay close atten­tion to the exten­sion of the ver­sion pro­vid­ed by the client. And whether you can edit these files clean­ly with your own soft­ware.

And if it goes wrong?

If it goes wrong, there is often already no read­able offer at the open­ing date. The client either can­not read out a GAEB file, or he could, but believes he does not have to because he has made a dif­fer­ent sub­mis­sion spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Or, quite dif­fer­ent­ly, he has only request­ed GAEB files and refus­es to read out the PDF, although exact­ly this would be easy for him (who can’t read a PDF?). All this is very annoy­ing for the bid­der. Because the bid­der must now reck­on with the exclu­sion of the offer. One of the excit­ing legal ques­tions in this con­text is whether the spec­i­fi­ca­tion “GAEB”, “PDF”, “One of both” or “Both” is a real form spec­i­fi­ca­tion, the vio­la­tion of which could jus­ti­fy the exclu­sion of the bid. In any case, you should defend your­self. Some­times it’s not so clear what the con­tract­ing offi­cer has asked for. Feel free to call, use legal help here.

*This legal tip is not a sub­sti­tute for legal advice in indi­vid­ual cas­es. By its very nature, it is incom­plete, nor is it spe­cif­ic to your case, and it also rep­re­sents a snap­shot in time, as legal prin­ci­ples and case law change over time. It can­not and does not cov­er all con­ceiv­able con­stel­la­tions, serves enter­tain­ment and ini­tial ori­en­ta­tion pur­pos­es and is intend­ed to moti­vate you to clar­i­fy legal issues at an ear­ly stage, but not to dis­cour­age you from doing so.

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