Security of Payment insight #4: Adjudication responses
Respondents have an exceptionally short timeframe to respond to applications. In my opinion it is too short. I have seen applications serving no less than 18 lever arch folders of materials necessitating an adjudication response within the time required by the Act. The timeframe for a response is the later of 5 business days after the respondent receives a copy of the application or 2 business days after an adjudicator accepts appointment for the application. Respondents hope an adjudicator will take extra time to accept the application to buy the respondent precious working days, but this leads to uncertainty. For larger applications, it is usually nigh impossible to address all issues raised in that time at all or with any detail so decisions are required as to how to address issues. Categorisation is often helpful.
At a minimum, the adjudication response should elaborate on the reasons given in the payment schedule for refusing to pay any amounts and attach relevant documents necessary to evidence or support those reasons for withholding payment. This may include expert reports and photographs evidencing defective work and lay statements.
The adjudication response should also set out any jurisdictional issues which the respondent asserts to the extent they are foreseeable at that point in time before a determination has been made.