CSAC Bulletin Article

New Procedures for Public Works Claims Effective January 2017

January 12, 2017

Counties should take note of a law taking into effect January 2017, which places new procedural requirements on the review of claims that arise during public works projects. To trace the history of the law, it was originally introduced as Assembly Bill 1347 (Chiu) and contained several troubling provisions for public agencies such as unfeasible timelines, disproportionate requirements, and an especially difficult provision that deemed a claim from a contractor approved if a public agency failed to respond.

However, CSAC, along with a large coalition of public agency advocates, was able to negotiate with the author to remove some of our top concerns in the successor legislation following the failed pass of AB 1347, Assembly Bill 626 (Chiu). This version, however, still contains some provisions that may present challenges for public agencies as they transition to the new process. Of particular noteworthiness is the new requirement for public agencies, upon receipt of a claim from a contractor, to “conduct a reasonable review” and provide a written statement to the contractor within 45 days.

CSAC Premier Corporate Partner Hanson Bridgett LLP provides a detailed summary of the new procedural requirements imposed on public agencies which counties are invited to review. CSAC also strongly encourages counties to follow-up with their legal counsel to determine next steps.

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