Volume 40,   Issue 12                      December  2005


ASA Releases New Bid Proposal Tool and Public Policies Report

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA), headquartered in Alexandria, Va., has created a new tool designed to help subcontractors, including glazing contractors, improve their negotiating power. The organization has developed the ASA Subcontractor Bid Proposal (2005) that it says will help subcontractors “level the playing field” when it comes to negotiating contracts in a straightforward manner: conditioning bids. 

ASA says the two-page document will help subcontractors define the work’s scope, price and bid conditions so that the general contractor’s acceptance of the proposal includes the subcontractor’s terms and conditions as well.
“The best estimators are already aware that job costs are premised upon a certain level of risk, whether or not the bid actually states that level,” said Vincent Terraferma, P.E., president of ASA. “ASA’s Subcontractor Bid Proposal helps subcontractors make explicit the level of risk that their prices are conditioned upon. Every contract term is a job cost and with ASA’s Subcontractor Bid Proposal, subcontractors can offer a price that accounts for all the variables.”

The new tool comes with instructions that explain how to modify and attach documents to the bid proposal, which ensures bids are defined properly. 

It is licensed for use by current ASA members. Members can download copies from the members only section of the ASA website, www.asaonline.com, on the member resource page.

The association has also published The ASA Report: the Policy Environment in the States, which ranked New Mexico as number one for its overall public policies impacting construction subcontractors. The annual report, now in its second year, scores each state in individual policy areas such as retainage and “bid shopping,” and uses the scores to assign an overall score and grade to each state.

All states other than New Mexico had overall scores of less than 58 points out of 100, failing grades, as calculated by ASA.

“The overall policy environment for subcontractors in the states remains unacceptable,” said Vincent Terraferma, P.E., president of ASA. “While there are some states that improved in particular areas, such as prompt payment and retainage, even high-ranking New Mexico’s overall score was 69 points out of a possible 100. ASA is committed to improving the policy environment for subcontractors, including using this report to educate policymakers and others about the need for reforms.”

Kansas showed the greatest overall improvement among the states in the past year, with its state ranking increasing from 29 to 19 out of 50. ASA says this shift was due to a sweeping law (S.B. 33) for private construction (except small residential work) requiring construction owners to pay prime contractors within 30 days for completed, undisputed work, and contractors to pay subcontractors within seven days of receipt of payment for subcontractors’ work. The law also preserves contractors’ and subcontractors’ ability to assert mechanic’s lien rights notwithstanding pay-if-paid clauses, provides for suspension of work after progress payments are 14 days late and limits retainage to 10 percent. It also establishes equal retainage levels at all tiers, bans out-of-state arbitration and litigation on disputes over Kansas construction, provides attorney fees for the prevailing party in disputes and prohibits waivers of subrogation for workers’ compensation losses.

The ten lowest ranking states were Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

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