As a contractor, it’s vital that you understand what exactly the Miller Act is, and how your state’s Little Miller Act derives from it. These statutes are at the center of the regulations for the surety bonds you’ll need to carry when you bid on government contracts. If you’re a small or medium contracting company and you’re looking to bid on government contracts, it’s something you’ll need to know.

While the Miller Act, as a Federal statute, is the same everywhere, the Little Miller Act is individualized state by state. Let’s explore the Rhode Island Little Miller Act, what it means for your contracting company, and how to get in compliance with state surety regulations.

The Federal Miller Act

The Federal Miller Act was first enacted in 1935 and replaced a prior act known as the Heard Act. It’s in place to ensure that when a contractor takes on a job for the Federal government, they have the ability to complete the contract to which they’ve agreed. It requires that for all Federal contracts over a certain amount ($100,000 or $150,000, depending on the contract), contractors carry two types of surety bonds.

The first of these is the performance bond. A performance bond is in place to assure the contracting body (the government) that you’ll live up to your responsibilities under the agreement. If you don’t, they can post a lien against the bond to recoup some of the money they’ve lost from the failed job.

The second is a payment bond. The payment bond provides the same peace of mind, but to vendors and subcontractors with whom you work. Should you fail to pay the people to whom you owe money for the job, they can post a claim against your payment bond to get the money they’re owed.

Little Miller Acts

The Federal Miller Act provides protection and regulation only nominally for Federal government contracts. As such, most states have enacted what are known as Little Miller Acts. These provide the same protections, but at the state level. Each state has different provisions and requirements under their act, but all regulate payment and performance bonds for state level public works and construction contracts.

Rhode Island Little Miller Act

The Rhode Island Little Miller Act is spelled out in chapter 37-12 of Title 37 under the Rhode Island General Laws. It states that any contract at the state level for construction or general contracting work that amounts to more than $50,000, requires the contractor to post surety bonds of at least 50% of the contract value, and not exceeding 100% of the value. This includes payment and performance bonds.

Learn More about Rhode Island Surety Bonds

If you’re a contractor in Rhode Island and you need more information about how Surety bonds work and about the Rhode Island Little Miller Act, National Surety Services, Inc., can help. For over two decades we have provided fast, easy and convenient bonding services to contractors all over the nation. Get in touch with us for more information or to get started today.