Georgia’s Little Miller Act

A few weeks ago, we covered the United States Miller Act, a set of federal statutes that requires certain types of surety bonding for all construction projects of a certain value.

The U.S. Miller Act is critical to the stability of publicly-funded construction projects while keeping costs and risks down overall. Because of the successful outcomes of this act, states across the nation have adopted their own versions, colloquially dubbed “Little Miller Acts.”

The state of Georgia’s Little Miller Act can be found in Georgia Code, Title 13, Chapter 10, §13-10-1, 2 and §13-10-40 – §13-10-65. Further stipulations and clarifications can be found in Title 36, Chapter 91, §36-91-1, §36-91-2, §36-91-50, §36-91-70 – §36-91-95, and §36-91-110 – §36-91-119.

Since not everyone wants to delve into the legalese held within these clauses and subsections, you can find a summary of Georgia’s most important Little Miller Act requirements below.

Performance and Payment Surety Bonds Required for All Public Works Contracts >$100,000

All public works projects funded by the state of Georgia and valued at over $100,000 must have performance bonds (§ 13-10-40) and payment bonds (§ 13-10-60) in place. The state can also request either for projects valued at less than $100,000 at their own discretion. All surety bonds must be secured from a company listed on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s list of approved bond treasuries (§ 13-10-2).

The value of the performance bond should conform to the exact dollar value of the project or more. If the project value increases in the middle of the project, then the bond should be adjusted to conform to the new value at minimum.

Contracts awarded under the pretext that performance or payment bonds must be secured are not valid until the required bonds are put in place.

Projects Under $300,000 Can Potentially Replace Surety Bonding with Letter of Credit

At the state’s discretion, certain project contracts valued under $300,000 can have performance bonds replaced by an irrevocable letter of credit furnished by a bank or savings and loan association. (§ 13-10-41)

Contractors Must Post Notice of Bonding and Furnish Copy of Bonding Agreement Upon Request

Within 15 days of the contractor commencing work on the project, they must supply a notice of commencement to anyone who makes a written request for the information.

The information should include the contractor’s name, address, and telephone number as well as other information like the location of the project site and the contract-awarding authority. Written requests for this information must also be honored within 10 days of receiving notice. See § 13-10-62 for more details.

Get the Georgia Surety Bonding You Need to Make Your Project a Success

Georgia’s Little Miller Act puts strict limitations in place for contractors that do not take the time to find a registered surety bonding company and obtain the bonding they need. Since these public works contracts are often lucrative, construction companies have a strong financial incentive to start a relationship with a surety bonding company in Georgia.

If you have any questions about surety bonding or want to begin securing your own bonds today, then please do not hesitate to contact us.