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Learn About ASA & Its Legacy

  • 1966: ASA is founded in Washington, D.C.
  • 1973: Launches Project SORE (Stamp Out Retainage Entirely).
  • 1979: Obtains OMB pledge to improve government payment.
  • 1983: OFPP publishes rules eliminating routine federal retainage.
  • 1984: Condemns AGC unilateral model subcontract.
  • 1988: Congress enacts prompt pay for subs on federal construction.
  • 1990: Wins elimination of individual sureties on federal construction.
  • 1994: Develops a model subcontract with AGC and ASC.
  • 1997: Forms SLDF and wins first case – eliminating pay-if-paid clauses in California.
  • 1998: Condemns AGC unilateral model subcontract.
  • 1999: Wins enactment of Miller Act reform.
  • 2000: Initiates the Subcontractors Transfer of Risk Action Plan (STRAP).
  • 2001: Introduces federal anti-bid shopping legislation.
  • 2002: Establishes that "additional insured = broad form indemnity" in an amicus brief filed with the Delaware Supreme Court.
  • 2003: Conducts Payment Advocacy Year!
  • 2004: Launches Stand Up! as the foundation for continuing education on subcontracts. Introduces the ASA Report: The Policy Environment in the States. Publishes FASA/Clemson University study on retainage.
  • 2005: Introduces distance-learning opportunities for subcontractors, using webinars and teleconferences for contract education.
  • 2006: Announces participation in an industry-wide collaborative effort to develop “nonpartisan” construction documents.
  • 2007: Endorses ConsensusDocs, a collaboration of construction industry organizations representing diverse interests. ASA suggests that the resulting documents reflect the best practices in the construction industry. Joins forces with other construction and business associations in pursuing comprehensive immigration reform.
  • 2008: Releases updated ASA documents, including a bid proposal and subcontract addenda, and adds documents concerning wrap up insurance. Introduces a new Excellence in Ethics Certificate. Adds podcasts to its distance-learning curriculum. Continues to use the SLDF to tackle issues such as bankruptcy preference, payment, no damage for delay, construction defect, etc.
  • 2009: Congress passes American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with ASA-supported $135+ billion of construction investments. Department of Homeland Security withdraws ASA-opposed no-match rule. Publishes FASA/NASBP/Clemson University study on subcontractor default insurance.
  • 2010: Worked with U.S. senators to include in a law that took effect in September 2011 requirements that (1) federal agencies make public federal prime contractors’ “history of unjustified, untimely payments to subcontractors” and (2) federal prime construction contractors explain to their federal contracting officers the reasons for which they did not “acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services or materials or obtain the performance of construction work” from those small businesses whose bids or proposals they used “in preparing their bid or proposal."
  • 2011: Spearheaded efforts before Congress to ensure that subcontractors and suppliers have the same payment rights on federal projects financed through public-private partnerships as they do on more traditional federal projects, and helped lead successful campaigns to repeal a 3 percent tax withholding requirement on public contracts and a requirement for businesses to massively increase their distribution of 1099 forms.
  • 2012: Initiated a provision included in the federal surface transportation law requiring USDOT to develop “standard public-private partnership transaction model contracts,” and urged DOT to include payment assurances for subcontractors in such contracts. Helped lead efforts to protect subcontractor payment on federal projects by supporting federal legislation curbing the use of individual surety bonds. Urged the Treasury Department to protect construction contractors from unknowingly submitting non-responsive bids on federal construction by providing public notice when a federal agency has notified a surety company that the agency may reject surety bonds underwritten by the company. Celebrated an Ohio appeals court ruling that a “pay-if-paid” clause using the words “condition precedent” is unenforceable and should be interpreted as a “pay-when-paid” provision, reversing a trial court decision. Celebrated a decision by the Supreme Court of Georgia vacating an appeals court’s decision that, if left standing, would have permitted injured employees to sidestep the workers’ compensation system and sue construction firms and project owners for damages. Celebrated a win in Missouri when the Missouri Supreme Court overturned an appeals’ court’s decision that threatened to dramatically diminish the value of subcontractors’ lien claims. With ASA of Texas, celebrated a victory when a U.S. appeals court withdrew a decision expanding contractors’ risk of insurance coverage denial.
  • 2013: Updated the ASA Subcontractor Bid Proposal for subcontractors to use to condition their bids on use of the ConsensusDocs 750 Agreement Between Constructor and Subcontractor during contract negotiations. Launched a series of Subcontractor’s Negotiating Tip Sheets designed to provide subcontractors with information they need to negotiate particular subcontract clauses. Unveiled model state legislation to address growing payment assurance problem on public-private partnership projects. Provided extensive comments on the long-awaited Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposed rule on crystalline silica, saying it was “confusing and burdensome without meeting the shared goal of improved worker safety and health.” Called on Congress to enact legislation to prohibit the use of reverse auctions to procure construction for the federal government. Celebrated a victory when the U.S. Supreme Court preserved the 24 state laws limiting the validity of forum-selection clauses in construction contracts.
  • 2014: Celebrated a precedent-setting decision by the Texas Supreme Court, when it ruled that a no-damages-for-delay clause does not shield an owner from liability for deliberately and wrongfully interfering with a contractor’s work. ASA and ASA of Texas had filed an amicus brief in the case, Zachry Construction Corporation v. Port of Houston Authority of Harris County, Texas, saying, “There is no justification to leave [small businesses] at the mercy of the owner’s willful, arbitrary, capricious, and fraudulent conduct that is also active interference.” Celebrated when a U.S. appeals court withdrew its prior opinion, reversed a trial court, and granted a rehearing in a Texas CGL case, saying the contractual liability exclusion does not exclude coverage for property damage arising out of breach of a contractor’s duty to repair. ASA and others in the construction industry had argued that the appeals court opinion had called into question whether subcontractors could depend on their commercial general liability insurance policies for coverage — coverage previously upheld by other courts. Published a revised version of “Lien & Bond Claims in the 50 States,” providing subcontractors with the most current information for filing claims no matter where in the United States they do business. Revised “Contingent Payment Clauses in the 50 States,” a guide for subcontractors and suppliers to help them understand their risk. Published a revised version of “Prompt Payment in the 50 States,” a state-by-state chart breaking down such details as the time frame for payment between owners and prime contractors; primes and subcontractors; and subcontractors to lower-tier subcontractors. Updated the popular “Public-Private Partnership Laws in the States, Including Surety Bond Requirements,” a guide published by ASA and the National Association of Surety Bond Producers to help subcontractors determine whether they have payment protections before they bid on a P3 project. Launched a comprehensive campaign to educate construction subcontractors and suppliers of the risks of working on public-private partnership projects, which may lack both payment bond and mechanic’s lien remedies, and continued to call for the federal, state and local governments to take steps to assure payment of construction subcontractors and suppliers on projects financed through public-private partnerships.
  • 2015: Petitioned with other construction industry associations the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to modify the Federal Acquisition Regulation to “make explicit” that before ordering a change to a construct ion contract the contracting officer must assure that funds are available to pay for additional work being ordered. Led a coalition of key construction industry organizations urging the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to require that assets pledged by an individual surety are real and readily available by modifying part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements. The coalition warned that “a determined and unscrupulous individual surety can too readily pledge assets that provide only illusory or insufficient protection.”

ASA: Celebrating 50 Years of Service (1966-2016)

Commemorative 50th Anniversary Book Banner


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