On most Florida public construction projects, the general contractor is required to furnish the public owner with a public bond–a payment and performance bond. This requirement is contained within Florida Statute s. 255.05. The public payment bond is for the benefit of unpaid subcontractors, suppliers, and sub-subcontractors that preserved their bond rights pursuant to the statute.
Section 255.05(e) provides in applicable portion:
Any provision in a payment bond…furnished for public work contracts as provided by this subsection which further restricts the classes of persons protected by the bond, which restricts the venue of any proceeding relating to such bond, which limits or expands the effective duration of the bond, or which adds conditions precedent to the enforcement of a claim against the bond beyond those provided in this section is unenforceable.
As it relates to the language “effective duration of the bond,” a federal district court held that the duration of a public payment bond must correspond with the full term of the public contract work. Irrespective of any duration set forth in the public payment bond, the bond will remain in effect as long as construction work, particularly base contract work, is being performed in accordance with the very contract recited in the bond.
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