16 April 2014

BCIPA Amendments

On 9 April Tim Mander, the Minister for Housing and Public Works, released a media statement on the proposed amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payment Act 2004 (Qld) (Amendments). The Amendments are intended to improve the process of resolving disputes by making it fairer and more transparent.

The Amendments have been approved by the Cabinet and are being debated by parliament mid-year. It is intended that the Amendments will apply to construction contracts entered into after midnight 1 September 2014.

The Amendments are:

  • The Queensland Building and Construction Commission will keep a central registry of claims to refer to adjudicators,
  • The time to make a claim will be reduced to 6 months from the date of the work being carried out,
  • Different timeframes to respond will be offered for larger or more complex claims (e.g. there will be extra time to respond for claims of more than $750,000 or claims involving latent conditions or time costs),
  • The payment schedule for large or complex claims will be due in 15 business days (not 10),
  • The definition of ‘business days’ will exclude the three days before Christmas up to 10 days after New Year’s Day, and
  • There will no longer be a requirement that a respondent’s Adjudication Response be confined to matters raised in its payment schedule.

View the media statement here.

View the Amendments fact sheet here.

For further information, please contact Jay Leary, Partner, Brisbane or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

11 April 2014

EU Reporting by mining (and other extractive) companies on government payments - Early UK implementation

Two EU Directives were passed in 2013 which require annual reports on payments to governments by companies in the extractive industries (mining, oil and gas and logging).

The UK government has now published a consultation paper on the early adoption of the EU requirements under one of the two Directives: the Accounting Directive.

The UK implementation will apply not only to large UK incorporated companies (large is defined by meeting 2 of 3 minimum criteria) and all UK incorporated listed companies, but also UK companies which are subsidiaries of overseas registered companies.

Once (and if) rules are implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act in the USA, for example, the European Commission has the capacity to designate it as an equivalent regime (which could exempt companies from the reporting requirement), although it is not clear in any event whether this recognition would be reciprocated.

Here is a link to our briefing summarising the main features of the proposals for UK implementation.

Responses to the UK consultation are due in a short timeframe - by 16 May 2014.

For further information, please contact Jennifer Bell, Partner, London, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact