The Business Council supports this legislation, which would amend the Public Authorities Law, the General Municipal Law, the Public Service Law and the State Finance Law to essentially level the playing field regarding notice of claims in public works contracts.
Specifically, the bill would specify that the burden of proof of material prejudice claims would fall on the public owner if the contractor provides notice within 180 days of the time specified in the contract; after this time period, the burden would fall on the contractor to prove that that public owner had not been prejudiced.
Under current law, contractors may be forced to comply with rigid notice requirements, violation of which may result in forfeiture of all rights to recovery in the event of a contract dispute. This legislation works to thwart this growing trend among state agencies.
For the reasons listed above, The Business Council supports this legislation.