(Excerpted from the Nov. 14 SAO Newsletter)

Construction Reform, which was signed into law June 30 as part of Governor Kasich’s FY2012-2013 budget, paved the way for some very significant changes in the delivery of public construction in the State of Ohio.

The most significant change outlined in House Bill 153 is the elimination of Ohio’s multi-prime requirement for the use of separate contractors for each aspect of the project, including general trades, mechanical, electrical and plumbing work.

The new construction reform legislation will allow public authorities to continue to use the multi-prime approach, but adds new contracting options such as hiring a Construction Manager (CM) at Risk firm, a Design-Build (DB) firm or a single-prime contractor to perform the work.

The Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) is required to develop administrative rules in order for the new alternative delivery methods to become effective. Rules amplify Revised Code and add further clarification and details for administrative procedures. An administrative rule becomes effective as part of the law in Ohio only after its adopting agency has taken it through a statutorily prescribed rule-making procedure.

DAS has drafted a total of seven proposed rules for Construction Reform which include:

  • Surety Bonding Rule
  • Contract Form Rule
  • Subcontract Form Rule
  • Prequalification Rule
  • Best Value Rule
  • Electronic Advertising Rule
  • Electronic Bidding Rule

Drafts of the proposed rules are now available for comment on the Ohio Construction Reform (OCR) website at http://ocr.ohio.gov (click on Rules). In addition, contract documents are being posted to the website as they are developed and can be found on the “Documents” web page. We encourage and welcome all interested parties to review the information on the website and provide comments or questions as appropriate.

Also included on the OCR website, which launched in September, are links to legislative information, an event calendar showing public hearing dates and other related events, a list of frequently asked questions, a glossary of terms and other general information related to Construction Reform. In addition, a link is provided on the website to sign up for periodic updates on Construction Reform.