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Specifying Legal Terms of Contract in ICT Environment

Objective

A barrier for the practical use of modern ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) is the lack of regulations for this environment. The result is that ICT is used for information and documentation exchange in parallel to the use of paper leading to extra costs. The tools developed in this project will define a framework for legal conditions and contracts regarding the use of ICT in project business, which will make it possible to get rid of the paper-based mentality -legally admissible. Participants in a virtual enterprise will be able to communicate purely electronically, without using paper any more.

Objectives are to:
(1) define industrial requirements
(2) define the legal basis for contracts on ICT use in the virtual enterprise,
(3) develop tools for contract negotiation and authoring,
(4) test and validate results and
(5) promote deployment by IT vendors, legal experts, industry, academia and standardisation.

Objectives:
ICT based information exchange in project based business such as construction and large scale engineering has become common but is not properly covered by the contractual practice. The full use of inter-enterprise ICT is hampered by poorly defined responsibilities, overlapping communication techniques and mistrust. The goal of this project is to define a framework for legal conditions and contracts regarding the use of ICT in project business. The objective is to specify user requirements, implement legal support tools & promote an enhanced business practice in which the use of ICT in inter-enterprise information exchange is contractually stipulated. The measurable and tangible objectives of e-LEGAL are: define industrial requirements, define the legal basis for contracts on ICT use in virtual enterprise, develop tools for contract negotiation and authoring, test and validate results, promote deployment by IT vendors, legal experts and industry.

Work description:
The main focus of e-LEGAL is on inter-enterprise contracts on the use of ICT in project oriented business such as construction and large scale engineering. The duration of e-LEGAL is 24 months.

The project will consist of 6 Work Packages:
WP1 User requirements: State-of-the-art survey on current contractual practice, current and emerging ICT support, related RTD, standards and models. Identification of related economic and other interests among business partners. Definition of a conceptual framework. User Requirement specification.
WP2 Legal development: Collecting data from participating countries and setting up a reusable clause library. Definition of contract configuration logic to be used as a basis of support tools. Definition of model contracts as examples of good practice in some typical business conditions. Development of legal solutions for AEC-objects like STEP or IFCs
WP3 Tool development: Specification of tools for contract preparation. Development of contract negotiation and configuration tools. Development of a tool for defining the ICT environment in a business project.
WP4 Validation and recommendations: Testing and validation via simulated contract negotiations and real life pilot projects. Preparation of guidelines on legal aspects of IT. Contributions to standardisation. Definition of recommended deployment strategies to the industry. Adaption to other business lines
WP5 Dissemination & implementation: Organisation of workshops, publishing electronic newsletter, maintenance of public web site, preparation of public presentations, promotion of proposed business processes and commercial results, International Conference, etc.
WP6 Assessment and Evaluation: Definition of performance metrics, assessment of project progress towards the objectives, Quality Assurance.
WP7 Project management: Administration and technical co-ordination.

Milestones:
The main milestones (months from kick-off) will be:
(M1) Management procedures,
(M3) Project presentation, project intranet, industry reference group,
(M6) State-of-the art,
(M9) User requirement specifications,
(M12) First European e-LEGAL confererence, draft prototype tools,
(M15) Simulated demonstration of planned final results
(M18) Legal model, Final specifications,
(M21) Draft guidelines, Final prototypes,
(M24) Final report, public demonstration, Second European e-LEGAL conference.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
Address
Ashby Road
LE11 3TU Loughborough, Leicestershire
United Kingdom

Participants (7)

DR. EDUARD OTT LAWYER & ENGINEER
Germany
Address
Vorhoelzerstrasse 23
81477 Muenchen
ENPRIMA ENGINEERING OY
Finland
Address
Rajatorpantie 8
01600 Vantaa
ENTERPRISE NET FINLAND OY
Finland
Address
Yrjoenkatu 21A C 27-28
00100 Helsinki
GEODECO S.P.A.
Italy
Address
Via Pontiroli 18/5
16031 Bogliasco (Ge)
PONTON SOFTWARE GMBH & CO. KG
Germany
Address
Stresemannstrasse 163
22769 Hamburg
SEIB INFORMATIONSTECHNOLOGIE CONSULT GMBH
Germany
Address
Berliner Platz 9
97080 Wuerzburg
VALTION TEKNILLINEN TUTKIMUSKESKUS (VTT)
Finland
Address
Vuorimiehentie 5
02044 Espoo