A Little Miller Act is a state-level statute that requires you to carry a certain level of bonding in order to bid on a government job. It’s based on a Federal statute called the Miller Act. If you’re a construction or contracting company and you’re looking to grow from small- or medium-sized to large and compete at the highest levels of the industry, you’ll need to understand how these acts work and how to comply with their requirements.
Each state has different rules, requirements and restrictions on bonds that are required under its version of the Act. Let’s explore the requirements of the West Virginia Little Miller Act, what bonds you’ll need, and where to go to get your company in compliance.
What the Miller Act Means
The Miller Act was first put into play in the 30s, replacing an older statute which was riddled with procedural and enforcement issues. It simply states that for any government contract above a certain value (ranging from $100,000 to $150,000, depending on specific circumstances), the contractor is required to post a payment bond to cover their subcontractors and materials services providers, and is required to post a performance bond to cover the contracting body – in this case, the Federal government.
“Little” Miller Acts soon followed the federal act. They provide the same requirements with differing benchmarks (levels of contracts) at each state.
What Do These Bonds Mean?
As a contractor, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of surety bonds. Payment and Performance bonds, in particular, exist to provide specific protections to specific individuals. A performance bond is in place if you don’t finish your job so the entity with whom you contract can recoup a portion of their losses by filing a bond claim.
Payment bonds, on the other hand, protect the people you work with. From additional workers with whom you subcontract to the vendors who provide your equipment, materials and vehicles, you’ll owe a number of people money from the job. A bond lets them file a claim to ensure that they get paid.
West Virginia Little Miller Act
The strictures of the West Virginia Little Miller Act are laid out in the state Code, Chapter 5, Article 22, Chapter 38. It states in general that when you take a Public Works job in West Virginia, from construction to repair and rebuilding to transportation and more, you need to post both a payment bond and a performance bond in the amount of the contract’s value.
Keeping this bond in play will allow recourse for the people with whom you work, from the state government to your additional staff, to the people from whom you’re renting machinery and equipment.
Getting Bond Compliance
Those in need of getting in compliance with the West Virginia Little Miller Act should approach National Surety Services, Inc. For over two decades we’ve been providing the best in efficient, secure and fast surety bonding services for clients in West Virginia and beyond. Give us a call for more information or to get your application started today.