Georgia has a relatively new (2019) law that allows engineers and architects to serve as “private professional providers”. The intent is to allow engineers and architects to support local permitting and inspection activities when the permitting authority can’t make timely permit reviews or inspections.
The inability to make timely reviews became a widespread issue when many government offices closed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. People in the planning or construction phase of a project typically need to keep making progress to meet schedules and minimize costs like debt service and property rent.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp waived the waiting period for PPPs on the 30th of March in this year. This meant people in the planning or construction stages could immediately work with a PPP rather than waiting for the local permitting office to reopen and resume activities.
Now that Georgia is starting the process of reopening businesses and government offices, people are asking if the PPPs may still be used in the same manner. The answer appears to be, “Yes.”
The Georgia Governor’s March 30th clarification allowing PPPs states the order shall remain in effect until the public health state of emergency ends. Yesterday, Governor Kemp issued an executive order extending the public health state of emergency until the 12th of June.
After reviewing the three executive orders, our reading is that parties may continue to use PPPs as they have until at least June 12, 2020.
You can find our explanation of private professional providers through the image linked below – it connects to our online archive.
The executive orders aren’t easy to sort through because there are a great number of them and many are interrelated. If you’d like to look up the orders related to this issue, here’s a list to give you some direction:
Georgia Governor’s Executive Order 03.20.20.02
Georgia Governor’s amendment to Executive Order 03.20.20.02 (issued 03|30|2020)
Georgia Governor’s Executive Order 04.30.20.01
Georgia Executive Orders: https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders