Contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on federal, state and municipal public works projects are subject to a different set of obligations and conditions than those found on private projects. Federal projects (such as military bases, federal office buildings, etc.) are governed by a statute referred to as “The Miller Act” or “The Big Miller Act”. State of Georgia public works projects fall under a Georgia statute commonly referred to as the “Little Miller Act”. Although both federal and state construction bidding, contracting, bonding and payment statutes are similar, there are some very important differences, and the surety bond attorneys at the Cobb Law Group understand how to navigate these statutes to protect and enforce your interests. Furthermore, our statewide practice allows us to assist you on any federal, state or municipal project located anywhere in Georgia!
Bond Requirements: Both the Federal Miller Act and Georgia’s Little Miller Act require that most public works projects be bonded. The contractor (and, frequently also subcontractors) must furnish a performance bond and payment bond for the benefit of the government entity building the project. Although these statutes assist subcontractors and material suppliers to get paid, they also limit the right of subcontractors and suppliers to initiate suit to collect unpaid balances. In addition, these statutes have notice requirements and deadlines in order to preserve or protect a claimant’s bond rights.
Georgia Has Separate Statutes for State of Georgia Projects and Local Municipality Projects: Although most construction professionals understand that there are some vital differences between the federal and state payment bond statutes, they are seldom aware that Georgia has separate statutes governing construction projects owned by the State of Georgia and those owned by local governments (local governments are defined as “any county, municipal corporation, consolidated government, authority, board of education or other public board, body, commission….” O.C.G.A. Section 36-91-2). Projects for the State of Georgia are governed by O.C.G.A. Section Section 13-10-1 et seq.;and O.C.G.A. Section 36-91-90 et seq. governs payment bonds required by local governments. Consequently, it is vital to a claimant’s case to know the requirements and differences of each section.
We Represent All Tiers of Construction Professionals Throughout Georgia: The construction lawyers at the Cobb Law Group provide guidance to prime contractors, specialty subcontractors, and material suppliers involved in government construction projects. We also serve as counsel to corporate attorneys that need assistance in navigating the complex federal regulations and surety disputes.
If you need a Georgia construction law firm with experience and knowledge of the Miller Act and Little Miller Acts, please contact us to see how we can help you.