RALEIGH — North Carolina’s local school boards will have to adopt a policy governing change orders to any construction or repair work for which a contract has been awarded once a bill from state Sen. Tom McInnis garners the governor’s signature.
McInnis,who represents Scotland County in the state Senate, introduced the bill March 19, which passed the Senate unanimously and was ratified this week. State records show there was only one vote against it when it passed the state House of Representatives on June 15.
According to the bill, the boards’ policies must address:
— The process by which a proposed change order is submitted by the contractor for approval, including any request for expedited review;
— The individual or individuals with responsible authority for approving change orders of a particular category of work or amount, or a combination thereof, and the corresponding descriptions and dollar limits;
— The process by which any change order that must be reviewed and approved by the local board is submitted to the local board; and
— The process by which the local board is notified of all change orders submitted to the individual or individuals identified with responsible authority to approve those orders, and the resulting actions taken.
“During my tenure on the Richmond County School Board, I learned of the problem of change order abuse in school construction projects,” McInnis said in a statement. “This bill will require the local school board to maintain oversight and be vigilant against change order abuse as it relates to school construction and repairs.”
He added that, when signed, it will “save small and rural schools millions of dollars which can be used for other worthwhile benefits of educating our children.”
The bill was presented to Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.