Recognizing that the inefficient and ineffective administration of public contracts inconveniences the traveling public, increases costs to taxpayers, and interferes with commerce, the Legislature hereby determines and declares that:
(1) Time is an essential element of the contract, and to assure satisfactory work progress and timely contract completion, the department shall minimize the allowance of additional contract time.
(2) In order to increase competition and maximize the utilization of personnel, the department shall minimize the variances between contract lettings.
(3) To protect the public interest, the department shall vigorously pursue claims against contractors and consultants for time overruns and substandard work products.
(4) The department shall stabilize the work program, ensuring the timely and systematic completion of projects.
(5) To encourage increased competition and timely completion of construction projects, the department may allow flexible start and finish time limits when the commencement of work is not essential to the public health, safety, or welfare. When using flexible start and finish time limits, the department may withhold up to 10 percent retainage on completed work when the contractor either fails to timely commence work or falls behind in work progress at any point prior to completion of the contract.
(6) The department shall make payments for road and bridge construction and maintenance work throughout the month so that the cash balance fluctuates as little as practicable.