South Dakota Becomes First State to Authorize Use of Contracting Documents

March 20, 2009

South Dakota is likely to lead the way for other states looking to save money on construction projects with its recently-passed HB 1212 law, which will allow standard contracting documents to be used for publicly-funded construction projects.

Now that Governor Mike Rounds has signed the legislation into law, it will cost less to get publicly-funded construction projects started in South Dakota because state officials will be able to use the ConsensusDOCS documents as a template, rather than paying attorneys to update old contracts from scratch. This will save time and money.

“South Dakota is showing the nation that there is a better, more efficient way to handle contracts,” said Larry P. Zikmund, president and chief executive officer of the South Dakota Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors. “Adopting these documents will make it easier, faster, and cheaper to turn good project ideas into actual construction successes.”

Created by a broad coalition of more than 20 leading construction organizations, including the Associated General Contractors of America, the Construction Owners Association of America, the Construction Owners Roundtable, and others, ConsensusDOCS are a library of already-drafted contract documents that are available for use in setting terms between an owner of a project and their contractors. HB 1212 established the terms and conditions in the ConsensusDOCS standard contracts, allowing them as a pre-approved option for use on government-funded construction projects in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors worked closely with South Dakota state officials and legislators to get the new law passed. Zikmund said that the legislation was necessary because South Dakota is one of a few states in the country that specifics standard construction contracts in law.

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