Main Contracting

The Staff of the Main Contracting Department provide assistance to members across a wide range of areas as set out below.

Prequalification Matters

The Main Contracting Department can offer assistance in relation to issues on suitability assessment procedures including turnover levels, experience requirements and time periods for submission. Minimum standards are set out in the Public Works Management Framework Guidance Notes and in the EU Procurement Directives [for projects above the EU threshold of €5.22m]

Where a contracting authority is in breach of one of the requirements of the national procurement guidelines or the EU Directives as outlined above, the CIF Main Contracting team will contact the contracting authority confidentially in this regard.

Tendering Matters

The Main Contracting Department can offer assistance in relation to issues on tendering including retention levels, performance bond requirements, and time periods for submission. Minimum standards are set out in the Public Works Management Framework Guidance Notes and in the EU Procurement Directives [for projects above the EU threshold of €5.22m] in respect of public sector works, and in the Liaison Committee Code of Practice for Tendering & Contractual Matters 2006 in respect of private sector works.

Where a contracting authority or client is in breach of one of the requirements of the national procurement guidelines or the EU Directives as outlined above, the CIF Main Contracting team will contact them confidentially in this regard.

Contract Matters

The Main Contracting Team in the CIF can provide information and guidance to members on the vast majority of forms of contract in use in the Irish Construction Industry including PW-CF Forms, RIAI Forms, IEI Forms and associated sub-contracts as well as Model Forms and Collateral Warranty agreements.

The team also regularly advises members on difficulties that arise during the contract period, whether it be a contract for public or private sector works. Members contact the CIF with issues relating to difficult clients, problems on site, payment problems and final accounts on projects varying from small domestic refurbishment works to multi-million euro schemes. In all circumstances, members of the Main Contracting team are in a position to offer assistance to members at any stage of the contract period.

Disputes Resolution

The Main Contracting Team in the CIF can offer assistance to members in how best to deal with any disputes that arise, whether this be through the mechanisms outlined in the contract, or otherwise by agreement with the parties to the dispute.

The Main Contracting Team in the CIF has extensive knowledge of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms available as follows:

  • Mediation
  • Adjudication
  • Conciliation
  • Arbitration

Dispute Appointments

Should a member of the CIF find themselves in a dispute and require names of potential dispute resolvers, the Main Contracting team can provide the member with three names of appropriate persons, once they are given details of the dispute and the parties involved.

Where the parties to a dispute are unable to agree on the person to act as the dispute resolver and the contract names the President of the CIF as the default appointee, the Main Contracting team within the CIF will co-ordinate the request for the appointment of an appropriate person from the CIF Dispute Resolution Panel.

EU Directives

The Main Contracting team in the CIF is well versed in the EU Procurement Directives including:

  • Remedies Directive 2007/66/EU
  • Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU
  • Utilities Directive 2014/25/EU
  • Concessions Directive 2014/23/EU

As well as the relevant Regulations transposing the Directives into Irish law.

The CIF has also published a Guide to the EU Procurement Directives, with an updated version for the 2014 Directives and 2016 Regulations to be published in 2017.

Payment Recovery Assistance Programme

One vital service available to all fully paid-up members of the CIF is the Payment Recovery Assistance Programme. This programme is offered in conjunction with solicitor’s firms who are business members of the CIF.

The PRAP Scheme has been in operation to 2010 and provides a unique and highly beneficial service to members who find themselves in difficulty when trying to recover payment from their clients.

Construction Contracts Act

Having been involved in the development of the Construction Contracts Act 2013, the Main Contracting team is very well placed to provide information and assistance to members as regards their rights and obligations under the Act.

The Act, which applies to all construction contracts (written or otherwise) entered into after 25th July 2016, introduces the concept of Adjudication as well maximum payment periods for sub-contractors, and prohibits the use of pay when paid clauses. The CIF is currently engaged with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in respect of amendments which would improve the operation of the Act.


As a member of the Construction Industry Council [CIC], the CIF is involved in the development of the Practice Notes and Ancillary Certificates for use with the Building Control Amendment Regulations introduced in 2014. A guidance note for members has been developed by the Master Builders’ and Contractors’ Association, which is available in the publications section and is due to be updated pending the publication of Practice Notes 3 and 4 by the CIC.

The Main Contracting team also deals regularly with queries from members on the operation of BCAR and their obligations and responsibilities under the legislation as well as contractually.

Industrial Relations

All members of the CIF have access to the Industrial Relations Department which provides invaluable support and assistance to members in respect of Industrial Relations issues.

The Industrial Relations Sub-Committee of the CIF deals with policy matters in relation to pay and conditions of employment of workers in the industry including issues such as hourly rates, pensions, sick pay, working hours, union engagement etc. Main Contracting members of the CIF are very well represented on this Committee by nominees from the Master Builders’ and Contractors’ Association and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.


The Main Contracting Department in the CIF is responsible for the development of training programmes for members, which are delivered by subject matter experts. Recent training programmes delivered to members around the country include:

  • Prequalification and Tendering
  • Construction Contracts Act 2013
  • New Amendments to Public Works Contracts 2016
  • Claims Management

If members are interested in company specific training on a particular topic, please contact the Main Contracting Department for further information.


Another feature of the offering to members of the CIF is Breakfast Briefings, which are arranged on a regular basis on areas of interest to members. Past briefings have been delivered by bodies such as:

  • Department of Education & Skills
  • Irish Water
  • Dublin Airport Authority
  • eTenders
  • Revenue Commissioners
  • Office of Government Procurement

All members are notified of upcoming briefings, which are free to attend for paid-up members of the CIF.

Business Development

The CIF recognises the importance of business development for all members of the Federation, and can provide assistance on core areas of buildings your business including advertising, promoting your services and marketing.

Representation on external bodies

In relation to private sector works, the Main Contracting Department represents CIF members on the Liaison Committee for the Building Industry, which considers issues relating to private sector contracting and is made up of representatives from the CIF, RIAI, SCSI, Engineers Ireland and ACEI.

On matters relating to public sector works, the Main Contracting Department has regular and ongoing engagement on behalf of its members with a number of Government Departments and Agencies and also represents CIF members on the Construction Industry Council [CIC]. The CIC, which was formed in 1991, is made up of the ACEI, BMF, CIF, Engineers Ireland, RIAI and the SCSI.

Key Contacts

Martin Lang

Martin Lang – Director, Main Contracting

Martin Lang is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Chartered Institute Accredited Mediator and is an Engineers Ireland Assessed Conciliator. He has been involved in the construction industry for over 40 years. Martin began his career as an Estimator and trained as a Quantity Surveyor in Dublin. He has had an extensive career in Company Management as MD together with Project and Construction Management in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East and West Africa. He joined the Construction Industry Federation in 1995 as an Executive Officer, served as Head of Contracts and Dispute Management he has held the position of Director of Main Contracting since 2013.

He has acted as Mediator and Conciliator in over 200 construction related disputes as well as being responsible for  the development and delivery of national training programmes and advice services in relation to pre-tender, pre-qualification issues, contract documents, claims management, dispute resolution, public sector procurement etc.

He is also a published author having co written 6 books the most recent of which in 2018 dealing with public procurement and public sector contracts.

He is a practicing Mediator and Conciliator.

Alison Erving

Alison Irving – Executive, Main Contracting

Alison Irving joined the CIF as an administrator in 2008 and has been an Executive since 2013 and Secretary to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association since 2016. She provides assistance and guidance to members on issues relating to prequalification, tendering, contractual matters and disputes amongst other matters. She has a Bachelor of Laws degree, a Masters’ degree in Criminal Justice and was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2014.

Denise Tuffy – Administrator, Tendering and Contracting

Denise Tuffy joined the CIF in 2016 and holds a Masters’ in Business Administration from Trinity College Dublin. She is responsible for the administration function within the Department, in connection with Associations, Committees and Sub-Committees, and deals with member queries on a wide variety of issues.


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