(1) The construction contract shall contain an agreement to submit those matters described in subsection (3) to the decision of an agent at the option of the public agency.
(2) If a dispute regarding a matter described in subsection (3) arises, the contractor and the public agency shall designate an agent who has background, training, and experience in the construction of facilities similar to that which is the subject of the contract, as follows:
(a) In an agreement reached within 10 days after a dispute arises.
(b) If an agreement cannot be reached within 10 days after a dispute arises, the public agency shall designate an agent who has background, training, and experience in the construction of facilities similar to that which is the subject of the contract and who is not an employee of the agency.
(3) The public agency may request dispute resolution by the agent regarding the following:
(a) At any time during the term of the contract, to determine whether there has been a delay for reasons that were within the control of the contractor, and the period of time that delay has been caused, continued, or aggravated by actions of the contractor.
(b) At any time after 94% of work under the contract is in place, whether there has been an unacceptable delay by the contractor in the performance of the remaining 6% of work under the contract. The agent shall consider the terms of the contract and the procedures normally followed in the industry and shall determine whether the delay was for failure to follow reasonable and prudent practices in the industry for completion of the project.
(4) This dispute resolution process shall be used only for the purpose of determining the rights of the parties to retained funds and interest earned on retained funds and is not intended to alter, abrogate, or limit any rights with respect to remedies that are available to enforce or compel performance of the terms of the contract by either party.
(5) The agent may request and shall receive all pertinent information from the parties and shall provide an opportunity for an informal meeting to receive comments, documents, and other relevant information in order to resolve the dispute. The agent shall determine the time, place, and procedure for the informal meeting. A written decision and reasons for the decision shall be given to the parties within 14 days after the meeting.
(6) The decision of the agent shall be final and binding upon all parties. Upon application of either party, the decision of the agent may be vacated by order of the circuit court only upon a finding by the court that the decision was procured by fraud, duress, or other illegal means.
(7) If the dispute resolution results in a decision:
(a) That there has been a delay as described in subsection (3)(a), all interest earned on retained funds during the period of delay shall become the property of the public agency.
(b) That there has been unacceptable delay as described in subsection (3)(b), the public agency may contract with a subsequent contractor to complete the remaining 6% of work under the contract, and interest earned on retained funds shall become the property of the public agency. A subsequent contractor under this subdivision shall be paid by the public agency from the following sources until each source is depleted, in the order listed below:
(i) The dollar value of the original contract, less the dollar value of funds already paid to the original contractor and the dollar value of work in place for which the original contractor has not received payment.
(ii) Retainage from the original contractor, or funds made available under a letter of credit provided under section 3(5).
(iii) Interest earned on retainage from the original contractor, or funds made available under a letter of credit provided under section 3(5).
(8) If the public agency contracts with a subsequent contractor as provided in subsection (7)(b), the final progress payment shall be payable to the original contractor within the time period specified in section 2(3). The amount of the final progress payment to the original contractor shall not include interest earned on retained funds. The public agency may deduct from the final progress payment all expenses of contracting with the subsequent contractor. This act shall not impair the right of the public agency to bring an action or to otherwise enforce a performance bond to complete work under a construction contract.