In the contract for international engineering projects, the function of Conditions of Contract is of greatest importance providing the rights, obligation and responsibility for the parties concerned in the Contract execution. During the past half century, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) has devoted itself to the compilation of management documents for all kinds of projects, among which the FIDIC Conditions of Contract are of the highest influence and are the most popular application.
The first edition of FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction (use “Red Book” in the following) was compiled in 1957, and later its second, third, and fourth edition were issued in 1963, 1977, and 1987 respectively.
But these editions were mostly compiled in the reference of the related documents of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The FIDIC and European International Contractors (EIC) entrusted the University of Reading in 1966 to summarize the experience and to draw lessons from the application of the former documents.
With the investigation of the governments, employers, contractors and consulting engineers all over the world about their application of the “Red Book”, 204 findings reports were returned. According to the findings, the FIDIC Contract Committee organized a group of experts to compile the new Contract Condition models to be applied in the 21stcentury.
The new models of FIDIC include :
FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Construction, the (New Red Book)
FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design/Build, the (New Yellow Book)
FIDIC Conditions of Contract for EPC Turnkey Projects, the (Silver Book)
FIDIC Short Form of Contract, the (Green Book)
The test edition of these models was published in 1998, and FIDIC solicited opinions throughout the world for additional time to publish the official texts in 1999. Now FIDIC conditions of contracthas been applied worldwide, especially in the projects invested by World Bank, Asia Development Bank, Africa Development Bank etc.