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04/19/2024 05:54 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 3, 2019 09:24 AM
From: Senator John DiSanto
To: All Senate members
Subject: Modernizing PA's Separations Act
I will soon introduce legislation to give the Commonwealth, its municipalities, and school districts flexibility in how they manage and bid construction projects. Pennsylvania is the only remaining state that mandates separate contracts for each portion of a public building contract (general construction, plumbing, heating and ventilating, and electrical work).

The more than 100 year old Separations Act places the burden on public agencies to act as the general contractor to oversee construction projects. As one might expect, this contract delivery method can be inefficient and fraught with delays, claims, and finger pointing while taxpayers overpay for construction.

Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper acknowledged as much in a Senate Appropriations hearing last session when he said, “the Separations Act requires that we do business less efficiently than we could otherwise do business… it effectively sets up a situation where it is much more difficult to design a project, to bid a project, and to manage a project.”

The construction industry has evolved over the past century and Pennsylvania can no longer afford to mandate a single delivery method for all projects. My legislation will give our public entities the same contract delivery options that have been proven in private and public marketplaces across the country, such as design-bid build with single prime, construction management at risk, and design build.

Public owners should be able to, on a case-by-case basis, determine which system best meets their needs. For example, each project delivery method has different entry points for builders to provide expertise into the design of the project and allow for greater collaboration to improve outcomes.

The Separations Act is not only outdated in the marketplace, but also wasting precious time and taxpayer dollars. Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation to bring our school and public construction projects into the present day.

Introduced as SB823