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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Liz Brocker, Public Information Officer, Office of Attorney General, 701.328.2213
Thursday, June 28, 2012 Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, Office of State Tax Commissioner, 701.328.3039

WILLISTON CONTRACTOR COMPLIANCE CHECKS A SUCCESS

BISMARCK, N.D. Random inspections of construction sites around Williston this week revealed that the vast majority of contractors are complying with state licensing and reporting laws, according to a multi-agency Contractor Compliance task force.

The multi-agency Contractor Compliance task force inspected 32 sites involving 70 contractors. The task force found only seven unlicensed contractors. Work has been suspended at the sites of three contractors until they obtain the required licenses from the Secretary of State's office and the Attorney General's office. The remaining four unlicensed contractors had not yet commenced any work and have been prohibited from working in North Dakota until they are properly licensed.

"While the inspection team's expertise and coordinated efforts contributed to the contractor compliance task force's successful results, the professionalism and excellent cooperation of the contractors interviewed greatly enhanced the team's ability to visit a large number of contractors and work sites," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

"The contractor compliance inspections emphasize the commitment by state agencies to ensure compliance with North Dakota laws and those contractors in violation unfortunately incur the costs of construction project delays and the civil penalties associated with the violations of North Dakota law. Contractors should be aware it will be more cost effective to comply with the licensing requirements up front because the state is monitoring their activities," said Parrell Grossman, Director of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

While on-site, task force members from the Tax Commissioner's office, Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) provided information to several contractors about additional reporting requirements and obtained updated information about employees.

"It's important that all contractors are in compliance with the state's laws and we appreciate that the majority of them were found to be in compliance," said Tax Commissioner Cory Fong. "This recent round of inspections also provides us an opportunity to educate the public as well as contractors about the responsibility to obtain the appropriate licenses, sufficient insurance coverage to protect their customers and their employees, and that they are paying the taxes that are owed."

The task force identified two illegal workers and detained the individuals until law enforcement placed them in custody for processing by the US Border Patrol.

The compliance task force is comprised of representatives from the Office of Attorney General, Office of State Tax Commissioner, the Secretary of State's office, Job Service North Dakota, and WSI.

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