Government Construction Contracting Part #4 – Florida’s Little Miller Act – Bond and Recording Requirements for Florida Public Works and Building Projects

Government Construction Contracting Part #4 – Florida’s Little Miller Act – Bond and Recording Requirements for Florida Public Works and Building Projects

By James M. Gonzalez April 12, 2022 Posted in Construction Law

In this series, we previously discussed how contractors, subcontractors, and sub-subcontractors can protect themselves when performing work on federal public projects. We also discussed when a bond is needed on a federal government construction project – for public works or building contracts in excess of $100,000.00 – and the types and meaning of each bond that is required. Then, we explained the rights of contractors, subcontractors, and sub-subcontractors performing work on a bonded federal government project.

Now we turn our attention to Florida state public works and building projects under what is referred to as Florida’s Little Miller Act. In this segment we will discuss bond requirements and contractor’s recording responsibilities under Florida’s Little Miller Act.

Florida Statute, §255.05 provides that a person entering into a contract with the state, county, city, or political subdivision thereof, for the construction of a public building, completion of a public work, or for repairs upon a public building or public work shall be required, before commencing/recommencing the work, to execute and record a payment and performance bond. The purpose (as discussed in the previous segments) is to protect the state from a party’s failure to perform and protect the subcontractors, material suppliers and laborers from a contractor’s failure to pay for work performed. However, Florida public works and building projects that are contracted for less than $100,000 are exempt from this bond requirement. Additionally, the official awarding the project may, at his/her discretion, waive the bond requirement for projects that are contracted for less than $200,000.

Under Florida Statute, §255.05(1)(a), the bond must have the following information on its front page:

  1. the name, principal business address, and phone number of the contractor, the surety, the owner of the property being improved;
  2. the contract number assigned by the contracting public entity;
  3. the bond number assigned by the surety; and
  4. a description of the project sufficient to identify it, such as a legal description or the street address of the property being improved, and a general description of the improvement.

Additionally, prior to starting work on the project, the contractor must provide the public entity with a recorded copy of the bond. Importantly, regardless of the language within the contract between the public entity and the contractor, the public entity may not provide payment to the contractor until the contractor provides the public entity with a copy of the recorded bond.

In this segment we discussed when bonds are required for Florida public works, building and land improvement contracts, what the bonds are required to contain and the recording and production responsibilities of the contractor after obtaining the bond. In the next segment, we will discuss the subcontractor’s rights and responsibilities under Florida’s Little Miller Act. If you are involved in a Florida public project and would like additional information on how to properly protect your interest in such a project, do not hesitate to contact us via the link below.

 

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