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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2018 03:34 PM
From: Representative Garth D. Everett
To: All House members
Subject: Modernize PA's Separations Act
I am preparing to introduce legislation that would modernize Pennsylvania’s Separations Act. The current law forces construction projects on public buildings to have separate contracts for each portion of the project, including plumbing, heating, ventilating, and electrical work, as you can imagine this can lead to finger pointing, claims, delays, and overpaying for construction.

The Separations Act was passed in 1913, and is now an entirely outdated law costing the taxpayers of Pennsylvania money unnecessarily. The law places a huge burden on public agencies that are forced to act as the general contractor to oversee a construction project and this burden adds to administrative costs. Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper is well versed on this Act: "we are one of three remaining states that has a Separations Act. The Separations Act requires that we do business less efficiently than we could otherwise do business."

My legislation would spell out the delivery systems that a public owner can choose from. The options include: Design-Bid-Build with Multiple Primes (current system); Design-Bid-Build with Single Prime; Construction Management At Risk; and, Design Build. These listed delivery systems have been proven in private and public marketplaces across the country. Each system provides different advantages and disadvantages that the public owner should take into consideration on a case-by-case basis for each construction project. Additionally, each system has different entry points on the project schedule to allow for the constructors to provide expertise into the design of the project and, in this day and age, the more collaboration into our tasks the chances are better for improving project outcomes. We can no longer afford to spend inefficiently for construction and the time has come to take advantage of the advancements of the construction industry to benefit Pennsylvania. It’s time to modernize the Separations Act.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation to save taxpayer dollars by modernizing a law that handcuffs the construction industry from streamlining projects for public buildings. Contact Chanin Zwing with any questions at 787-5270 or via e-mail at czwing@pahousegop.com.

Introduced as HB163