MITA informed contractors in a bulletin last week about the possibility of a state government shutdown. MITA continues to hear rumors that legislators will avoid the situation by passing a temporary continuation budget. Nonetheless, MITA believes it is important that contractors begin preparing for the possibility of a shutdown.
Earlier this week, MDOT was advised by the Attorney General (A.G.) that the state constitution prohibits them from entering into agreements to pay for any extra costs associated with shutting down, maintaining the project during a shutdown and restarting construction projects, as they would not have authorization to expend money after September 30, 2007. As a result of that A.G. opinion, MDOT has informed MITA that should a shutdown be ordered, formal shutdown notices, in the form of a Work Order at the project level, may not be issued to prime contractors until as late as this Saturday or Sunday.
Therefore, MITA suggests that each prime contractor with an MDOT-administered project (MDOT staff or an MDOT consultant representative who is providing project inspection and oversight) prepare for a potential shutdown by preparing your own internal contingency plan. Some suggested parts of a contingency plan include:
- Weekend monitoring of your company e-mail. MITA will be using e-mail this weekend to communicate any news or additional information about a potential or pending shutdown to the membership.
- A communications plan for informing your employees and subcontractors about a shutdown.
- A plan for how your project management staff will physically receive a Work Order to shut down, should MDOT issue one over the weekend.
- A plan for how your project management staff will react to an MDOT request for a Saturday or Sunday meeting to prepare for a shutdown.
MITA also strongly recommends that every prime contractor with an MDOT-administered project submit to the engineer a Notice of Intent to File Claim letter. This action will help protect and reserve your rights to make claim for extra compensation and/or additional time that result from a shutdown of state government. We suggest that you submit this letter to the engineer prior to closing up your project at the end of this week. Click here for suggested language for a Notice of Intent to File Claim letter.
As information becomes available even over the weekend, MITA staff will keep you informed.
If you have any questions please contact Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org; Glenn Bukoski, Vice President of Engineering Services at email@example.com or Keith Ledbetter, Director of Legislative Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.