Miller Act

The Miller Act is a federal law, passed in 1935, that provides payment recovery options to most contractors and suppliers on a government project. Because contractors aren’t allowed to file a mechanics lien on government property, this law guarantees that certain contractors have another legal option to recover payment. 

Under this law, the prime or general contractor must secure a contract surety bond and a contract performance bond on certain federal building projects. US Government-owned building projects, including new construction, remodeling, and repairs, that cost more than $100,000 must comply with these requirements before work can commence. 

Who does the Miller Act cover? 

This law covers first and second-tier subcontractors, first-tier suppliers, and second-tier suppliers under contract with a first-tier subcontractor, but not those second-tier suppliers under contract with another supplier (e.g. “suppliers-to-suppliers”). 

Who does the Miller Act not cover?

The Act does not cover prime contractors, third-tier suppliers, and third-tier subcontractors.

Making a Miller Act claim

If unpaid, contractors can make a claim against the bond. Typically, the bonding company will investigate the claim to ensure it’s valid. If successful, either the prime contractor or the bonding company will pay the claim.

Most Recent Posts on Miller Act

Miller Act Claims Mean Business

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A recent case for work done at the FBI Academy at Quantico shows that the right to make Miller Act claims will not be reduced by contractual provisions.

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