Just like anywhere else, if you’re running a small or medium contracting and construction business in Oregon, at some point it probably means bidding on big government jobs. This can be intimidating, especially when you find yourself contending with Miller Act requirements for the first time.

As a small business owner, you might not even know what a Miller Act is, let alone what this “Little Miller Act” you keep hearing about means. In truth, these are simply statutes that determine what kinds of surety bonds you’re required to carry to take on government contracts. Learn about the Oregon Little Miller Act, the surety bonds it requires you to carry and where to go to get in compliance with this important state statute.

What Are Miller Acts?

As a contractor, you’re likely familiar with the concept of surety bonding. Bonds are what give your contracting bodies and other entities with whom you work peace of mind that you have the intent and ability to live up to your obligations. The Miller Act exists to protect the Federal government from irresponsible contractors. It dates all the way back to the 19th century when the Heard Act was enacted, requiring the carrying of bonds by contractors on government jobs.

Since the Heard Act was plagued by complications with procedures and enforcement, the stronger Miller Act was put into place in the 30s, and it’s still used today. It states that when you bid on a federal contract of more than $100,000 or $150,000, you will need to carry a payment and performance bond.

Little Miller Acts are state statutes that regulate the same thing at varying values, on individual state levels. While each state has its own requirements, usually you have to abide by the more stringent of either the state or Federal act on any given job.

Payment and Performance Bonds

A performance bond ensures the contracting body (in the case of a Little Miller Act, the state government) that you will complete the job and allows them to recover their losses if you don’t. A payment bond fills the same role, but to those subcontractors and vendors (materials suppliers) with whom you work. If you don’t complete the job, they still get paid.

Oregon Little Miller Act

The Oregon Little Miller Act is laid out in the state statutes under Title 26 and Chapter 279C. It states that anyone who bids successfully on any public contract worth over $100,000 ($50,000 in the case of highway and transportation projects) is required to issue both a performance bond and a payment bond, both in an amount equal to the full dollar value of the contract – that is, if you have a $100,000 contract, you’ll need a payment bond in that amount and a performance bond in that amount.

Learn More about Surety Bonding in Oregon

If you’re in Oregon and looking at bidding on a public project, NSSI can help you learn more about the Oregon Little Miller Act. Get in touch with us today for more information or to start your fast and easy surety bonding process!