A Dispute Board (DB) is used to describe a dispute resolution procedure which is normally established at the outset of a project and remains in place throughout the project’s duration. It may comprise one or three members who become acquainted with the contract, the project and the individuals involved with the project in order to provide informal assistance, provide recommendations about how disputes should be resolved and provide binding decisions. The members of DBs need to be relevantly experienced in the type of project under construction and have a thorough understanding of contractual issues.
They are mainly There are two types of DBs : Dispute Review Board (DRB) and Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB)
The Dispute Review Board issues recommendations based on the information provided within the dispute to assist the parties to reach an amicable settlement. However, if neither party expresses dissatisfaction with the written recommendation within the stipulated period, then the parties agree to comply with the recommendation. The recommendation therefore becomes binding.
The Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB) is different from DRBs because – as suggested by the word “Adjudication”, the decision issued by the DAB is binding between the parties and becomes final until one party refer the dispute to Arbitration or otherwise (depending on contract provisions).
Most frequently, DRB provisions are included within the contract, or may be incorporated later by variation or change order. There will also need to be a tripartite agreement between the DRB members and the employer and contractor dealing with the remuneration of the panel, as well as the establishment of procedural rules and applicable terms such as confidentiality and the rights and obligation of the DB members and the employer and contractor.
The benefit of having a DB is that is constituted at the commencement of the contract – standing DB – is that the members of it will visit the site regularly and be familiar not just with the project but with the individual personalities involved in the project.