ADR process to help ensure contractors get paid
The California Legislature has enacted Public Contract Code Section 9204, which mandates a dispute resolution process while the project is ongoing for public works subject to the statute. The purpose of the statute is to ensure the "timely and complete payment of contractors for public works projects." As with many statutes, Section 9204 is not as simple as it appears on the surface.
Section 9204 begins with a declaration of public policy: "The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the best interest of the state and its citizens to ensure that all construction business performed on a public works project in the state that is complete and not in dispute is paid in full and in a timely manner." Cal. Publ. Contr. Code Section 9204(a). These are not mere empty words – because of the declaration, with limited exceptions, "a waiver of the rights granted by this section is void and contrary to public policy." Section 9204(f).
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