Recently passed House Bill 153 provides public authorities with significantly expanded construction contracting options. Prior to this Bill, Ohio public authorities used a multiple prime method of contracting. Now, they may utilize a number of construction contracting options.
The Bill allows for use of a Construction Manager at Risk where the CMAR provides a guaranteed maximum price and an open book pricing method. The public authority must select three CMAR candidates and negotiate the full scope of the contract with the CMAR that provides the most competitive proposal. If the authority cannot reach an agreement with its first choice CMAR, then it will move to the second and third options in order. The winning CMAR must provide a surety bond in an amount not less than the combined contract values of any work under contract prior to the establishment of the guaranteed maximum price or in the amount of the guaranteed maximum price.
The Bill also permits use of a design-build option. Here too, the public authority must select three design-build firms and negotiate with each in priority the full scope of the contract. The design-build firm must provide a surety bond in an amount not less than the combined contract values of any work under contract prior to the establishment of the guaranteed maximum price or in the amount of the guaranteed maximum price.
Public authorities can now use general contractors to handle the entire project. The public authority must select the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Lastly, the Bill contemplates CMARs or design-build firms using a design-assist professional. A design-assist firm monitors and assists in completion of the plans.
The Bill was signed by the Governor on June 30, 2011. The provisions governing new forms of delivery for construction projects take effect January 1, 2012.
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