(a) 40 U.S.C.chapter 31, subchapter III, Bonds (formerly known as the Miller Act), requires performance and payment bonds for any construction contract exceeding $150,000, except that this requirement may be waived-
(1) By the contracting officer for as much of the work as is to be performed in a foreign country upon finding that it is impracticable for the contractor to furnish such bond; or
(2) As otherwise authorized by the Bonds statute or other law.
(1) Pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 3132, for construction contracts greater than $35,000, but not greater than $150,000, the contracting officer shall select two or more of the following payment protections, giving particular consideration to inclusion of an irrevocable letter of credit as one of the selected alternatives:
(i) A payment bond.
(ii) An irrevocable letter of credit (ILC).
(iii) A tripartite escrow agreement. The prime contractor establishes an escrow account in a federally insured financial institution and enters into a tripartite escrow agreement with the financial institution, as escrow agent, and all of the suppliers of labor and material. The escrow agreement shall establish the terms of payment under the contract and of resolution of disputes among the parties. The Government makes payments to the contractor’s escrow account, and the escrow agent distributes the payments in accordance with the agreement, or triggers the disputes resolution procedures if required.
(iv) Certificates of deposit. The contractor deposits certificates of deposit from a federally insured financial institution with the contracting officer, in an acceptable form, executable by the contracting officer.
(2) The contractor shall submit to the Government one of the payment protections selected by the contracting officer.
(c) The contractor shall furnish all bonds or alternative payment protection, including any necessary reinsurance agreements, before receiving a notice to proceed with the work or being allowed to start work.