Construction Industry Public Contracting Advisory Council bill awaits governor’s signature

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CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MattWade https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Challenges faced by construction contractors and subcontractors when dealing with New York State’s complicated public contracting processes are one step closer to being resolved, as the Construction Industry Public Contracting Advisory Council bill (S.4323-C/A.6232-C) awaits Gov. Cuomo’s final review.

The New York Electrical Contractors Association (NYECA), which represents 190 electrical contractors in New York City and Westchester County and is a signatory to Local Union #3, IBEW, initiated the process to get the bill passed, Construction Equipment Guide has reported.

“The Subcontractors Trade Association (STA), representing 325 subcontracting entities in New York City, was a strong supporter of the bill and worked hard to pass it. Willett Public Affairs successfully drafted, negotiated and advocated for the bill’s passage,” the published report says.

The bill seeks to  bring together state legislators, regulators, construction contractors and subcontractors, labor, and other stakeholders, with 21-member Construction Industry Advisory Council on Public Contracting Reform (the Advisory Council) to change New York State’s public contracting process.

“Within a year of its formation, the Advisory Council is charged to study and report on numerous, vexing contractual issues that harm contractors and subcontractors working on public works projects,” the report  says. ” Some of these longstanding problems include damages incurred by contractors, subcontractors and other parties due to delay in payments by project owners; substantial completion as defined recently in amended state finance law; retainage in public works contracts; and public works contracting issues affecting minority and women owned contractors and subcontractors.”

CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia’

The Advisory Council will report on its findings with recommendations and suggested best practices. These could include possible legislative and regulatory solutions to improve the current public contracting process.

“NYECA is committed to fostering an open dialogue with our elected officials as we continue to advocate for the union construction industry and the middle-class economy it supports. We are proud to have partnered with the New York State Legislature to introduce and pass legislation that helps to create a more fair, stable, and equitable contracting process, allowing our contractors the opportunity to create meaningful employment opportunities and power New York State’s most complex and important construction projects,” Construction Equipment Guide quoted NYECA executive secretary Edwin Lopez as saying.

“For us, this bill is vital. There have been many attempts to remediate New York State’s patchwork of variable rules and separate agency contracts with various bills that unfortunately had little success for many years,” STA executive director Hank Kita, =was quoted as saying.

“The Advisory Council has a real opportunity to focus on the key prejudicial areas of the state’s public contracting process, analyze them, consider viewpoints from all interested parties, and deliver its findings and recommendations. This will take us a step closer to levelling the playing fields for all parties, and eliminate the burdensome, unfair and varying contractual terms and conditions that may unfairly benefit New York State but are prejudicial to contractors and subcontractors.”

h was resolved with the clock quickly ticking on the final days of the legislative session.”

Other supporters included the Building Trades Employers’ Association; Mechanical Contractors Association of New York; Association of Master Painters and Decorators of New York; Association of Contracting Plumbers NYC; Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association of Long Island; Women Builders Council; the National Electrical Contractors Association, and the Empire State Subcontractors Association.

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