Adjudication is a quick way to resolve payment disputes. The new Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) has made changes to the adjudication process. This information outlines these changes.
See the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website for more information about the adjudication process and how to make an adjudication application.
On this page:
- Applications for adjudication
- Adjudication response
- Time frame for adjudication decisions
- Adjudication certificates
- Adjudicator fees
- Adjudicated amount
- Adjudication registrar requirements
The BIF Act streamlines the adjudication process, and makes it easier and fairer for contractors to get their payment disputes resolved.
Previously, a claimant had to serve a ‘notice of intention to apply for adjudication’ to give a respondent a final opportunity to provide a payment schedule.
The BIF Act has removed this requirement: there are no more ‘second chance’ payment schedules. This makes it easier and faster for a claimant to progress to adjudication if necessary.
The time frames for making an adjudication application have also been extended. Claimants must apply for adjudication in the following time frames:
- where the payment schedule wasn’t issued and full amount claimed wasn’t paid: within 30 business days after the later of:
- the due date for the progress payment that the claim relates to
- the last day the respondent could have served a payment schedule
- where payment schedule was issued but scheduled amount wasn’t paid by the due date: within 20 business days after the due date for the progress payment
- where the amount in the payment schedule was less than the amount claimed (i.e. there is disagreement over the amount proposed to be paid): within 30 business days after the claimant receives the payment schedule.
The adjudication registrar must receive adjudication applications no later than 5pm on a business day. Any application the registrar receives after 5pm is considered received on the next business day.
If a respondent doesn’t prepare a payment schedule, they have no ability to provide an adjudication response.
Previously, respondents could raise new issues in their adjudication response if the claim was complex. Under the BIF Act, no new issues can be raised in an adjudication response, regardless of whether the claim is complex.
There are two time frames for making an adjudication decision:
- standard payment claim: 10 business days after the response date
- complex payment claim: 15 business days after the response date.
The response date is the day on which the adjudicator receives an adjudication response from the respondent or, if no adjudication response is given, the last day on which the adjudicator could have received the adjudication response.
The BIF Act sets out the time frames for giving an adjudication response based on whether the adjudication application is for a standard payment claim or complex payment claim.
Where the response date for an adjudication application is a standard payment claim, the time frame for a decision is the later of:
- 10 business days after receiving an adjudication application
- 7 business days after receiving notification of the adjudicator’s acceptance of the adjudication application.
Where the response date for an adjudication application is a complex payment claim, the time frame is the later of:
- 15 business days after receiving an adjudication application
- 12 business days after receiving notification of the adjudicator’s acceptance of adjudication application.
Previously, the adjudication registry issued an adjudication certificate only if the claimant requested it because the respondent hadn’t paid the entire adjudicated amount. There was a fee for a certificate.
Under the BIF Act, the adjudication registry must issue an adjudication certificate within 5 business days of receiving an adjudication decision. There is no fee for a certificate.
The adjudicator must consider the conduct of both parties when deciding the proportion of fees that each party will pay.
The BIF Act allows the BIF Regulation to prescribe a maximum amount for how much an adjudicator may be paid for fees and expenses. The Regulation prescribes a range of maximum fees for payment claims for progress payments up to $25,000.
The BIF Act introduces a new penalty for failing to pay an adjudicated amount.
An adjudicated amount must be paid within 5 business days after the decision is given, or another time decided by the adjudicator. A maximum of 200 penalty units applies for failing to pay.
The QBCC can take disciplinary action against a licensee for non-compliance.
Under the BIF Act, the adjudication registrar must now have and maintain mandatory qualifications, including eligibility for admission to the legal profession under the Legal Profession Act 2007.
There are also strict requirements around the adjudication registrar’s independence.
The adjudication registrar can make policies about matters that they’re responsible for administering relating to progress payments and adjudication.
- Last updated:
- 3 June 2020