Silent Epidemic Destroying Lives in the United States

Los Angeles, CA, August 13, 2021 – McapMediaWire – A recent National Institute of Corrections report states 1 in 50 American children will have a parent in prison in their lifetime. With approximately one and a quarter million adults currently living behind bars in the U.S., that figure isn’t likely to decrease any time soon.

Minnesota District Court Judge Allison Krehbiel knows too well what happens when a child loses a parent to prison. “I am bound to follow the law, but it’s absolutely crushing when I send a mother, father, or even an older sibling away because I understand the ramifications it will have on the family dynamic, especially the children.” Krehbiel adds that children who lack a mentor or don’t get proper therapy when a parent is absent are twice as likely to end up on the wrong side of her bench down the road. “We need all the help we can get to intervene with this vulnerable population.”

A new book series aims to do just that. It’s an innovative trilogy of books written specifically for young children of the incarcerated. Author Rachel Nee-Hall says she hopes a simple parenting tactic shared by cute animal characters will help explain a difficult situation in an age-appropriate way. An award-winning television producer, Nee-Hall was inspired to write Daddy’s Time Out, Mama’s Time Out, and Peanut’s Time Out from personal experience after accompanying a friend who was taking her children to see their father in prison. “There I was sitting in the prison lobby with this little boy who was upset and confused. When I looked around for a book or pamphlet to advise me how to comfort him, there wasn’t any.” So, the Los Angeles mother of two decided to write them. “It wasn’t rocket science, but there was a need for these specific books for this demographic.”

Child psychologist Ruth Cowen agrees. In her practice located near a California prison, she works primarily with children of incarcerated parents. Cowen says children have trouble processing their feelings, especially face to face with an adult. “There weren’t any books like this out there. These are valuable tools for parents, social workers, therapists, and numerous others. Cowen believes the animal characters help unravel mixed feelings and allow them to process information to find stability and understanding.

Lisa Fernandez, a therapist in the Ohio state prison system, calls the books a must-read for children. “It’s difficult to convince a child that it’s not their fault when a parent goes away, and as important, that the parent still loves them. These stories illustrate that perfectly.”

Nee-Hall says the books have an interactive nature to them. The characters engage the child and ask the questions; the adult reader is merely the intermediary. Suzanne Tuttle, a licensed social worker, says the approach is less intimidating for the child. “These books are perfect. I love how simple, supportive, and normalising these stories are.”

Nee-Hall stresses the subject matter steers clear of politics and the vast division regarding incarceration in America. “I am not here to comment on policy. I just hope these books can help the millions of children out there dealing with the confusion of their current circumstances.”

Rachel Nee-Hall

Rachel Nee-Hall has been producing and directing television in Los Angeles for two decades. She is the founder of Silky Pants Productions, Inc. Daddy’s, Mama’s, and Peanut’s Time Out books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and select bookstores.

Press inquiries: [email protected] /


Email: [email protected]

Daddy’s Time Out:

Mama’s Time Out:

Peanut’s Time Out:

Green Stream Holdings, Inc. Provides Answer to Urban Gardening Needs

NEW YORK, NY, August 6, 2021 – Green Stream Holdings Inc. (OTC PINK: GSFI) (“the Company”) (, an emerging leader in the solar utility and finance space, which had previously announced that it would be entering the rapidly growing urban gardening sector with solar greenhouses dedicated primarily to rooftop farming, and a program to convert old shipping/cargo containers into inexpensive greenhouses for urban and inner city neighbourhoods, today confirmed its focussed on serving the underserved, and announced that within the next few weeks it expects to launch its premiere self-contained Solar Greenhouses with its own irrigation system and back-up battery supply.

CEO James DiPrima said: “Our company has always had its focus on helping the underserved… being a socially responsible company. Last year when the company announced this innovation, Madeline Cammarata, our then CEO who is now passed, spoke of her vision for this project… and what she said is still impactful now! Madeline had also shown the rest of us, the importance of social responsibility and that every company should try to make not just money… but to make people’s lives better. She said: “In inner cities across the USA a silent public health scourge stalks children and families living in urban sprawl and the scourge is this: lack of access to locally sourced, fresh, organically grown produce. Our Solar Greenhouses takes under-utilised space and turns them into sustainable inner city farms, harnessing collected solar energy and runoff water to become an oasis for healthy produce to be reintroduced into urban deserts and improve the health and well-being of the community. I am thrilled to highlight to our shareholders the continually refined focus of Green Stream on our unique, niche, business paradigm: the Community Solar Project. The Community Solar Project is an elegantly simple solution to basic renewable energy and sustainability challenges faced by high energy cost urban areas around the nation.”

“In the last few years, rooftop gardening has been growing exponentially. The opportunity and necessity to grow crops on rooftops and inside tall building allows for an efficient use of the limited space found in cities and we have the infrastructure in place to begin cultivating these structures alongside and even within a select group of our current projects.”

He continued, “We are confident that a new generation of organic super-sized food products grown locally under strict fully climatized conditions, will provide the next generation of urban cuisine, not to mention a supply source for community minded stores like Whole Foods, Target and local markets… “Now we have the ability to significantly impact the communities we serve with the opportunity for multiple streams of income from each project, from providing electricity for the public utilities, to growing fresh fruits and vegetables for the local restaurants. Growing season is 24 -7/365 in our climate-controlled roof top greenhouses powered by solar arrays, and with dual-benefit: storing power during the day for use at night and utilising excess power to sell back to communities as an energy source.”

About Green Stream Finance, Inc.

Green Stream Finance, Inc., a solar utility and finance company with satellite offices in Malibu, CA and New York, NY, is focused on exploiting currently unmet markets in the solar energy space, and is currently licensed in California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Colorado, Hawaii, and Canada. The Company’s next-generation solar greenhouses constructed and managed by Green Rain Solar, LLC, a Nevada-based division, utilise proprietary greenhouse technology and trademarked design developed by world-renowned architect Mr. Antony Morali. The Company is currently targeting high-growth solar market segments for its advanced solar greenhouse and advanced solar battery products. The Company has a growing footprint in the significantly underserved solar market in New York City where it is targeting 50,000 to 100,000 square feet of rooftop space for the installation of its solar panels. Green Stream is looking to forge key partnership with major investment groups, brokers, and private investors in order to capitalise on a variety of unique investment opportunities in the commercial solar energy markets. The Company is dedicated to becoming a major player in this critical space. Through its innovative solar product offerings and industry partnerships, the Company is well-positioned to become a significant player in the solar space. Please visit:

About Chuck’s Vintage:

Chuck’s Vintage, a division, provides its clients access to historical fashion accessories, garments and complete ensembles from a bygone era. In these times of uncertainty, and ever-changing conditions, , Chuck’s Vintage is doing its best to provide clients with a consistent white glove experience. Come to Chuck’s for the denim but stick around and complete your look with the founder’s sampling of vintage American workwear: rugged military and work boots, buttery leather bomber jackets, and soft, perfectly worn-in vintage 70’s rock tees. Classic American Cool.

Chuck’s Vintage was founded by GSFI former CEO Madeline Cammarata (fka Madeline Harmon), who hailed from an illustrious background in fashion. Her career began as a fashion model, where she was soon discovered by the iconic and provocative fashion photographer Helmet Newton, launching Cammarata to the runways of Europe. Returning to the US, Madeline found a powerful niche in the high fashion world of denim, where she was instrumental in providing fabric development for powerful brands like 7 For All Mankind and provided thousands of pieces to celebrity and business elites from Steve Jobs to Morrisey and everywhere in between. Please visit:

Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is subject to the safe harbour created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. That includes the possibility that the business outlined in this press release cannot be concluded for some reason. That could be as a result of technical, installation, permitting or other problems that were not anticipated. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Green Stream Finance, Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein. Except for any obligation under the U.S. federal securities laws, Green Stream Finance, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For All Inquiries Contact:
+1 (424) 280-4096
[email protected]

SOURCE: Green Stream Holdings Inc.

Instagram: chucksvintage original
Phone: +1 (646) 669-7007

NSAV and SBC Investor Relations Unveil Dynamic Blockchain Strategy

London, England, August 2, 2021 – Net Savings Link, Inc. (OTC Pink: NSAV), a cryptocurrency, blockchain and digital asset technology company, today announced, in conjunction with the support of SBC Investor Relations, Inc., its dynamic blockchain strategy and outlook for the coming year. In May, the Company announced its entrance into the massive multi-billion-dollar Chinese blockchain market. NSAV and its team of blockchain pioneers, will now commence operations in North America, the world’s largest blockchain market. Businesses in North America have recognised the potential of blockchain technology in delivering enhanced customer experiences and therefore have started adopting the technology to develop business applications. Silverbear Capital Inc. will navigate with NSAV’s management and partners to enter the North American blockchain market. SBC Investor Relations’ research team believes the market outlook for blockchain is extremely strong and believes NSAV’s business direction will be benefit from this dynamic momentum.

Additionally, recent research indicates that the global blockchain market size is expected to grow from USD 3.0 billion in 2020 to USD 39.7 billion by 2025, at an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 67.3% during 2020–2025. The increasing need for simplifying the business processes and need for supply chain management applications integrated with the blockchain technology will drive the overall blockchain market. Based on these indicators, NSAV’s management believes the Company’s future in the blockchain sector looks very promising.

The managements of SBC Investor Relations, Inc. and NSAV would like to thank all NSAV shareholders for their continued support, loyalty and trust. It is truly appreciated.

NSAV also announced that its Director and Bitmart Exchange Managing Partner, Mr. Yuen Wong’s video update to shareholders has just been released. The video can be accessed at the link below.

As one of the founders of Bitmart Cryptocurrency Exchange, Mr. Wong helped guide BitMart in becoming a premier global digital asset trading platform, with over 2 million users worldwide and ranked among the top crypto exchanges on CoinMarketCap. Bitmart’s platform supports over 220 cryptocurrencies and has a 24 hour trading volume of approximately $2 Billion.

NSAV further announced that the Company is on schedule for the August 9, 2021 launch of its wholly-owned Cryptocurrency Exchange, which will carry the NSAV brand name.

The launch will officially mark the Company’s entrance into the $2 trillion global cryptocurrency market and make NSAV only the second U.S. publicly traded company to own a Cryptocurrency Exchange, following the Coinbase IPO in April, which valued Coinbase at over $85 billion.

SBC Investor Relations, Inc. is a pioneer provider of investor relations and strategic corporate communications. They have been working with companies to build their profiles within the investment community.

In addition, SBC Investor Relations, Inc. is a specific sub-discipline of SBC’s public relations division that revolves around how we assist a company to communicate with investors, shareholders, government authorities and the financial community.

Mr. Dato’ Sri Desmond Lim, on behalf of SBC Investor Relations, Inc. and partner at Silverbear Capital Inc. stated, “We continue to research and monitor the blockchain market on a daily basis to ensure we are up to date with the ongoing development of the industry. We use this data to formulate a modern strategy to hedge against risks in the marketplace, in order to ensure we are building shareholder value.”

Mr. Lim is also Senior Vice President of Cryptocurrency Operations for NSAV and Co-Founder of the world-renowned World Glove City Project in Malaysia

The management of NSAV released the following statement, “We continue to drive value into our business model by preparing for the future of the blockchain and crypto sectors.  We monitor closely which territories have more demand and also the ongoing changing rules from regulators, in order to make sure we are prepared to take on opportunities from this industry.”

NSAV’s vision is the establishment of a fully integrated technology company that provides turnkey technological solutions to the cryptocurrency, blockchain and digital asset industries. Over time, the Company plans to provide a wide range of services such as software solutions, eCommerce, advisory services, financial services and information technology.

For further information please contact NSAV at [email protected]

The NSAV Twitter account can be accessed at

The NSAV corporate website can be accessed at

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbours created thereby. Investors are cautioned that, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, the ability of Net Savings Link, Inc. to accomplish its stated plan of business. Net Savings Link, Inc. believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate, and therefore, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this press release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward- looking statements included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by Net Savings Link, Inc. or any other person.

Net Savings Link, Inc.
[email protected]

Astro Aerospace Signs Letter of Intent for Exclusive Distribution

Dallas, Texas, July 28, 2021 – Astro Aerospace Ltd (OTCQB: ASDN) (“Company” or “Astro”), a global leader in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aerial vehicles and drones, today announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Lotus Mobility Ltd. (“Lotus”) to acquire all IP, technology, and exclusive global distribution rights to Lotus’s line of cutting-edge electric aircraft.

In exchange for 3 million Astro Shares, Astro will acquire 51% of Lotus’s subsidiary Liaoning Tongda Transport Technologies Co. Ltd (“LTT”), along with an exclusive, perpetual license to all LTT Technology and IP for use in Astro’s business and the international distribution rights for LTT’s 2-seater RX1E and RX1E-A, 4-seater RX4E, freighter KN60F and RX Seaplane. In addition, the companies will pursue joint research and development of the next generation of electric aircraft through a development and commercialisation agreement with Liaoning General Aviation Research Institute (“LGAA”), investing initially $3 million in operations and research and development. SOME of the initial projects to be undertaken by LTT and LGAA is the development of a 9- and a 19-seater plane, with Astro commanding exclusive international distribution and naming rights for these and all other future products. In addition, Astro will have the first right of refusal to acquire the remaining 49% of LTT.

In an effort to jointly explore opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, Astro and LTT will also establish Singapore-based Astro Apac Pte Ltd. Astro Aerospace will own 51% OF ASTRO Apac Pte Ltd, with the remaining 49% held by Lotus Mobility. Astro will contribute $1 million as part of an overall raise to expand to new opportunities in the Asian Pacific markets.

In China, Astro and LTT plan to jointly develop a 4-hectare site to construct a state-of-the-art aviation exhibition for learning and tourism purposes, along with a 133-hectare site to host a regional flight school, airport, hospitality facilities, and residences.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Astro Aerospace to further expand our vertical product offering while joining forces with Lotus to further develop our global reach. Astro’s majority stake in LTT will provide us with direct access to the Asia Pacific region as well as pioneering aerospace technology produced by LGAA, including the RX4E, China’s first domestic 4-seater electric aircraft,” said Patricia Trompeter, Chief Executive Officer of Astro Aerospace.

Neil Sumaru, Chief Executive Officer of Lotus Mobility Ltd, commented, “We are excited to partner with Astro Aerospace to extend our market reach beyond Asia Pacific to North America and Europe. With Astro, we will co-develop next generation electric aircraft, beyond our current two- and four-seater models, to include nine- and nineteen-seater types.”

About Astro Aerospace

Astro Aerospace is the developer of the world’s most advanced, autonomous, short haul, eVTOL (Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aerial vehicles.

Our mission is to make self-flying unmanned and manned vehicles available to anyone, at anytime, from anywhere, and to turn this new and exciting aircraft into a mainstream mode of transportation.

About Lotus Mobility Ltd

Lotus Mobility Ltd is a US mobility group dedicated to developing technologies, products, and services for electric vehicles for the air, land, and water transport. Lotus has strategic operating bases in the Asia Pacific region plus partnerships in other regions of the world.


This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential” or similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified and consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) market acceptance of our existing and new products, (ii) delays in bringing products to key markets, (iii) an inability to secure regulatory approvals for the ability to sell our products in certain markets, (iv) intense competition in the industry from much larger, multinational companies, (v) product liability claims, (vi) product malfunctions, (vii) our limited manufacturing capabilities and reliance on subcontractors for assistance, (viii) our efforts to successfully obtain and maintain intellectual property protection covering our products, which may not be successful, (ix) our reliance on single suppliers for certain product components, (x) the fact that we will need to raise additional capital to meet our business requirements in the future and that such capital raising may be costly, dilutive or difficult to obtain and (xi) the fact that we conduct business in multiple foreign jurisdictions, exposing us to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, logistical and communications challenges, burdens and costs of compliance with foreign laws and political and economic instability in each jurisdiction. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realisation of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s web site at The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Our vision is “Flight Made Easy”

Visit for more information.

For inquiries contact [email protected].

Astro Aerospace Ltd.
320 W. Main Street
Lewisville, TX 75057

An Informal Introduction To ADR Procedures

At a glance through any of the range of contracts offered in the 1999 and the 2017 Editions of the FIDIC Contract Suites, one will soon be aware that following the submission of a claim by either of the parties, the Engineer’s response and determination thereof is only the first step of the contractual and legal process of dispute resolution and final settlement. Should a claiming party be dissatisfied with an Engineer’s determination, it should inform the Engineer that it disputes the findings and intends to pursue such dispute through the resolution procedures provided by the contract.

Herein, we have focussed on FIDIC contracts. However, our observations hereinafter may be applied to any form of contract containing ADR, yet as always with caution.

Practical application of ADR

Focusing more on contractor’s claims for the purposes of this article, it would appear that in many cases, gone are the days when a contractor could sit with the Engineer and negotiate an amicable settlement of its claims. The reasons for this are widespread and diverse, yet often driven by the ever-increasing financial and political pressures on both parties.

In order for the parties to have an opportunity to reduce the potential for filing for protracted and expensive arbitration and/or litigations, all FIDIC contracts provide an Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) procedure, whereby disputes of any nature under the contract or in connection with the contract can be referred to an independent body known as a Dispute Adjudication Board (“DAB”), often generally called a Dispute Board (“DB”) and more recently from 2017, a Dispute Avoidance / Adjudication Board (“DAAB”), all serving the similar function of issuing a binding decision under the contract upon referral of a dispute by either party to the DB, which would supersede the content and the binding nature of the Engineer’s determination that formerly prevailed, in an attempt to provide the parties a means to amicably settle such disputes by avoiding an immediate file for arbitration or local court process, as the case may be.

Although binding on the Parties, such Dispute Board’s decisions will only become final, in the event that neither of the parties will issue a Notice of Dissatisfaction (“NOD”) thereto, which if issued by either party, would retain the option for that party to file for arbitration which will issue a Final Award, which will be final and binding on the Parties at law.

In our experience over the years, the quality of Engineer’s determinations under the contract have often been rather disappointing. In some cases, Engineers have not even responded to a contractor’s claim within the time permitted, let alone having proceeded in accordance with the respective ‘agreement or determination’ clause. Both the processes of the Engineer of (i) responding to the principles of a contractor’s claim with approval, or with disapproval and detailed comments within the period stated; and (ii) the subsequent process of proceeding with the ‘agreement or determination’ clause, are mandatory under FIDIC contracts.

Hence an Engineer’s failure to respond within the time allowed will automatically constitute a breach of contract for reasons that such would deny the claiming party the process of natural justice, and thus would qualify as a mature dispute between the parties under the terms of the respective contract. Should the Engineer disapprove a claim, there would arguably be no requirement for the Engineer to proceed with a determination, yet it is often argued that such disapproval may itself constitute a determination, but such could only be considered to be valid if the mandatory requirements of the ‘agreement or determination’ clause had been complied with in full. These are matters of due process of ADR under the respective contract and indeed at law.

Once the Engineer/Employer has been informed that a mature dispute has arisen between the parties, a contractor who disputes an Engineer’s response to its claims or lack thereof, should pursue the dispute resolution procedures under the contract without delay.

The aforementioned FIDIC contracts have structured the claims procedures with fairly stringent time frames, which are subjected to time-bars at law. However, apart from the mandatory period within which a Notice of an event or circumstance is to be issued by a party to the other party, and the aforementioned mandatory period allowed for the Engineer to respond to the principles of a Contractor’s claim, such other periods are not mandatory, unless there is express sanction provision that by exceeding them, entitlement or the means to proceed with ADR, are lost as a consequence, which is a prominent feature of the 2017 Editions of the FIDIC Suite of Contracts.

Another important aspect of the potential for the loss of entitlement often overlooked, is the Statute of Limitations regime (“SOL”) imposed by the applicable law. In this regard, the law applicable to the contract can vary greatly from one country to another, and likewise the law’s approach to the SOL will also vary. The difference can be extreme from a period of 10 years down to 3 years and even less is not uncommon, thus on major projects with a time for completion of 3 or more years, a claim may easily fall foul of a 3-year’s SOL if not dealt with promptly and in compliance with any other applicable legal procedures. In any event, it is advised to have matters of the SOL thoroughly investigated by competent construction lawyers or law firms familiar with the specific applicable law.

Further, the applicable ADR specific to the respective contract must be investigated thoroughly. The General Conditions of Contract (“GCC”) may have been revised by means of the Particular Conditions of Application (“PCC”), which in many cases vary significantly from the GCC, especially regarding the courts having jurisdiction to settle the disputes arisen in relation to the contract, where this may be arbitration or may be local courts of law. Such is important for many reasons, primarily with regard to appeals, where court proceedings include an appeal process, whereas international arbitral proceedings will not. In either case, adherence to procedure is vital, even arbitral Final Awards will require enforcement in a local court, and such are extremely vulnerable to breaches of procedure.

Unless a contractor has previously invoked a DB, DAB or DAAB procedure, it would likely be unaware of what is involved or even what a Dispute Board’s true function and approach to a referral should be.

In this respect and common to all DBs, DABs or DAABs, such a Dispute Board will comprise of one or three members, each of which should be proficient in at least a basic knowledge of engineering, contract interpretation and a principle appreciation of the applicable law.

Dispute Board members do not necessarily need to be experts in their own right on specific matters such as delay analysis, quantum or the finer operations of the law, as they have full authority to appoint their own independent experts in any discipline, as the need may arise, subject to parties agreement to that effect.

At the time of selection, nomination and appointment, Dispute Board Members commit themselves to strict and transparent impartiality, fairness and diligence and the most favoured board members are those who have been trained for the responsibilities they assume, and the parties should prefer those who are listed by a range of institutions as suitably qualified, such as the FIDIC President List of Approved Dispute Adjudicators, the ICC, ICE or other similar reputable organisations.

Ideally, as recommended under the provisions of the FIDIC Red and Pink Book contracts 1st editions, Dispute Boards would be appointed as what is known as ‘standing’ Boards, meaning that they would be appointed from soon after commencement of the Works and they would periodically visit the construction site and meet with the parties to discuss issues of progress and concern.

This will permit the benefit in their role of dispute avoidance, whereby the FIDIC 2017 suite of contracts have embraced the concept of DAAB where the terms of engagement of the board focuses more intensely on dispute avoidance than the FIDIC 1999 Editions. However, since the onset of the use of dispute boards, their practice has often included an element of dispute avoidance, especially in the case of standing Dispute Boards who have been able to form a closer association with parties.

Alternatively, a Dispute Board may be appointed only upon a dispute arising, which in many cases is well after the commencement of the project and often under circumstances whereby the relationship between Engineer/Employer and Contractor has already broken down and has often become highly antagonistic.

This is a situation that does not lend itself easily to amicable discussions, rational thinking and dispute avoidance. In the main, upon receipt of a referral, such ‘ad-hoc’ boards will initially be tasked with familiarising itself with the project, and it will be faced with unravelling the likely biases developed by each party, in order to establish the true facts of events and circumstances leading to the dispute, and to adjudicate and issue its decisions accordingly, all within a fairly short period of 84 days, or extension thereto as and if agreed by both parties. It is natural that the more relationships between the parties have degraded, any aspect that need the agreement of the parties can easily prove difficult, and their failure to agree on procedural matters, such as the appointment of the Dispute Board, can even develop into disputes in their own right.

Costs are always a concern for both parties and clearly the cost of a ‘standing’ Board will be greater than that of an ‘ad-hoc’ Board. However, the service received from a ‘standing’ Board is highly likely to be far more beneficial to the parties than that received from an ‘ad-hoc’ Board, delivering a cost benefit to those with an interest in cost-effective expenditure or more simply put, value for money. The process of a referral of a dispute to a Dispute Board will depend upon the procedures agreed between the parties and the board members within a tri-party Dispute Adjudication Agreement or Dispute Board Agreement, which is to be entered into by and between the parties and the DB Member or DB Members after the appointment of the Dispute Board and prior to a referral. The referral usually takes the form of a Statement of Case, often otherwise known as Statement of Claim, to which the responding party will have the opportunity to reply within a given period. Usually, the referring party would then have the opportunity to rebut that reply and the responding party would be allowed a rejoinder. For decisions required within the 84-day provisions, each exchange would usually be within 14 days following the previous submission.

Following these exchanges, the Dispute Board may request further information or clarification from either of the parties as necessary and when satisfied that sufficient information had been received in order to assess the case, the Dispute Board may call for a Hearing, unless the parties and the board agree that a Hearing will not be necessary.

In order to save costs, Employer’s often invite the Hearing to take place at their premises, as most employer’s on major projects are Government Departments or similar organisations with premises which may be considered as suitable. However, it is recommended that the Hearing venue should always be neutral to the parties, to avoid any interruptions or psychological bias.

Government Buildings can be somewhat intimidating for a contractor and a neutral venue would allow both parties to be more at ease when presenting their respective cases. Modern hotels usually have good facilities for conferencing and the like, providing suitably equipped rooms with options for separate break-rooms for each party and the board, should they be necessary. Hotels are also convenient for catering purposes and adequate bathroom facilities, as hearings can take up to 3 or 4 days or more, periodic refreshment breaks, and lunches, which will be essential.

Each party will be required to appoint a single spokesperson that would have full authority to take decisions on the party’s behalf. This may be in the form of appointed Counsel or by an individual appointed by a party, and such would need to provide to the board and the other party a legally valid Power of Attorney to evidence such authority. The authors of this article strongly advise parties to appoint experience Counsel in these matters at all times.

There should be no communications, neither oral nor in writing, between either of the parties and the board, unless such are formally shared simultaneously between the board and the other party. At any meeting, it is essential that there should be no casual dialogue between any member of either party and any member of the board, unless the other party is present.

The board is charged with the control of communications and the parties are expected to strictly comply with any and all directions issued by the board. Specifically, under the First Edition 1999 the referral of a dispute to the DAB and the binding nature of the DAB’s decision are regulated under Sub-Clause 20.4 [Obtaining Dispute Adjudication Board Decision], which reads, inter alia that:

‘Within 84 days after receiving such reference …, the DAB shall give its decision, which shall be reasoned and shall state that it is given under this Sub-Clause. The decision shall be binding on both Parties, who shall promptly give effect to it unless and until it shall be revised in an amicable settlement or an arbitral award as described below. If either Party is dissatisfied with the DAB’s decision, then either Party may, within 28 days after receiving the decision, give notice to the other Party of its dissatisfaction.’

The DB, with the prior agreement of the Parties, may also give one or more decisions on the merits of a matter in dispute and a second or more decisions on the quantum of the same matter in dispute. However, the DB cannot give an interim decision regarding a dispute relevant to a Contractor’s interim claim, for reasons that the claim is interim. That is so due to the fact that:

“If the DAB has given its decision as to a matter in dispute to both Parties, and no Notice of Dissatisfaction has been given by either Party within 28 days after it received the DAB’s decision, then the decision shall become final and binding upon both Parties.”

It is the referral to the DB that crystallises the matters in dispute and the jurisdiction of the DB. The DB is obliged to consider and issue a reasoned decision that deals with all of the matters (and nothing further) in dispute and referred to the DB.

As seen from the foregoing extract, if a party does not accept a DB decision, that party must serve a notice of dissatisfaction, which will prevent the binding decision from becoming final and binding and will open the pathway to arbitration under Sub-Clause 20.6 [Arbitration] in the FIDIC 1999 conditions.

Dispute Resolution Procedures under the contract, have been designed as a means of settling the disputes arisen between the contractual parties without resorting to arbitration and the courts of law. They comprise of a two-stage procedure, DB and arbitration or litigation, thus, by such proceedings, the parties are provided with an option to deploy the DB as a pre-arbitral mechanism for the purpose of avoiding arbitration or litigation.

Brief biographies of the co-authors

Giovanni Di Folco is an accomplished professional Civil Engineer and the co-owner and President of Techno Engineering & Associates Group (“TE&A”), a highly reputable international techno-legal consultancy firm specialising in the field of Contract, Claims Management and Dispute Avoidance / Resolution, representing international contractors Worldwide and assisting them through the whole process of Contract, Claims Management and Dispute Resolution through adjudication, arbitration, litigation and enforcement. Giovanni is an accomplished Counsel, Arbitrator, Adjudicator, DB, DAB, DAAB and Expert Witness in Delay and Quantum. He is a Member and President-elect of the DRBF Region 2 Board of Directors, a FIDIC Member, a FIDIC Accredited Trainer and is listed on the prestigious FIDIC President’s List of Accredited Dispute Adjudicators.

Clive Horridge is one of TE&A’s Senior Contract Advisors and is a DRBF’s Member. Clive has had a career in Civil Engineering Quantity Surveying and Contract Management spanning more than forty years. Most of his experience was gained on major Motorway projects in the United Kingdom when at Corderoy under the ICE 4th and 5th Edition and the various CESSM Conditions of Contract, more recently he gained specific experience on major projects in the Middle East while with Parsons Group and over the last fifteen years Clive has worked in Romania and internationally with Techno Engineering & Associates Group on Motorway and Road Rehabilitation projects under the FIDIC Conditions of Contract, in its various forms. Over the years, Clive has developed an in-depth knowledge of Construction Contract generally, not only the Forms of Contract mentioned, but an understanding of the working practice, interpretation and of course, project specific application.

The views expressed by the authors in this paper are the authors’ alone.

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