Victoria: Introduction to Security of Payment and Adjudication
This page is an introduction to Adjudication in Victoria, if you are an experienced user please proceed directly to the Victorian flowchart.
The Victorian Government has recognised that prompt payment is vital to the stability and efficiency of the building and construction industry.
The Victorian Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (often called the Security of Payment Act - the Act) assists recovering payment for work done and goods and services provided by by establishing a fast, effective, efficient and fair processes for securing payment - called adjudication.
This web site provides the tools for participating in adjudication.
Too often the party liable to pay for construction work or related goods or services (the respondent) has manufactured a dispute to deny, or try to delay, payment. In other situations, respondents have tried to string out the time for payment with promises of future work if only the claimant just waited a bit longer.
The Act helps stop this. Its objective is to ensure that any party that contracts to carry out construction work, or supply related goods or services, on projects for the private and public sectors in Victoria is entitled to promptly receive and recover all progress payments that are due, including final payments and, subject to limitations, retention monies.
The Act creates a dispute resolution process (adjudication) that allows a party (the claimant) alleging they are owed monies under a construction contract to promptly obtain payment from the respondent, based on an assessment of the merits of the claim by an appropriately qualified and independent adjudicator. Adjudicate Today is appointed by government to nominate the adjudicator and conduct training and mentoring programs.
The adjudication process is both simple and rapid. Adjudicators must make their determination within 10 business days (unless the claimant agrees to extend the time). If the respondent’s reasons for not paying don’t pass the adjudicators independent assessment, the respondent is generally liable for the progress claim and interest. If a respondent does not comply with an adjudication determination, the claimant may obtain from Adjudicate Today an adjudication certificate for lodgement at the appropriate court which registers it as a judgment debt. For most claims referred to adjudication, a lawyer should not be necessary.
In order to commence a claim under the Act there must be a Payment Claim made against a party to a construction contract (either written or oral) in relation to construction work or the supply of related goods and services for construction work in Victoria.
Time frames under the Act are all important. The Act requires the claimant to take different actions based on whether a respondent serves or fails to serve a written response to the payment claim (the Act calls this the payment schedule) within defined times. Failure by the claimant to follow the strict requirements of the Act will cause an adjudication application to fail.
The information and flowcharts we publish on this website clearly describe how parties should proceed in preparing and responding to payment claims, what steps should be taken based on the actions of the other party and all other steps required by the Act. In addition, our highly trained staff are available to answer questions about how the Act works and what parties need to do to comply with it. We provide this information for free and without obligation. If parties proceed to adjudication, the adjudicator pays us a service fee from his/her fees to cover our costs. Neither party is asked to pay the adjudicator's fee until after the determination is provided to Adjudicate Today.
f you are not familiar with our website, we suggest you read “Navigating this website” below. Otherwise let’s get started.
Navigating this website
There are two simple ways to navigate this Victorian based website:
1. Click here to go to our interactive flowchart. Clicking once in any flowchart box provides brief details. Clicking on ‘Read More’ in the new pop-up box provides detailed information about the step;
2. Use the menu on the left hand side of the page "Start; Schedule Served; Schedule Not Served; Adjudication Process; Application Forms; and Resources;". We recommend you commence by clicking on a menu item under Start as it provides necessary information which is crucial for making or responding to an adjudication application.
The adjudication process may seem difficult when first encountered. Actually it is not. When an important term used by the Act is first encountered in the text, it is highlighted in blue. Passing the mouse over the term causes a grey box to "pop-up" with a simple explanation of the term.
We explain each step under the Act in a simple manner by using our unique flowchart. The flowchart is interactive. This means that when you click on a box in the flowchart brief details are provided in a pop-up overlay. Clicking the 'Read More' button at the bottom of the overlay provides much more information on a new web-page. The simplest way to return from the information web-page to the flowchart is to click on the back arrow key located on the top left of all browsers.