This tool helps local government officials in Washington State identify and understand their statutory legal requirements for purchasing and contracting. Your jurisdiction may have established its own, more stringent policies, so always consult your local policies and legal counsel.
In order to determine your specific requirements, we ask up to three simple questions:
- Your project type
- Your agency type, if applicable
- Your city/county name, if applicable
Based on your answers, we will provide you with an overview of your statutory requirements, as well as a wide variety of related resources and sample documents.
If you already know your competitive requirements, please visit our Purchasing and Contracting pages for more detailed information on almost every aspect of local government procurement in Washington State.
1. What type of project is this?
Not sure? Click the question mark next to each project type for definitions and examples.
All work, construction, alteration, repairs, or improvements, other than ordinary maintenance, that are paid for by a municipality. "Ordinary maintenance" means work that is performed by agency personnel to provide regular or preventive maintenance.
Examples: Road construction, roof repair, HVAC upgrades, building remodel, parking meter installation
Purchase of goods, equipment, supplies, or materials not connected with a public works project
Purchasing goods, equipment, supplies, or materials. However, if the purchase is directly connected to construction, alteration, repairs, or improvements, other than ordinary maintenance, it is considered to be part of a public works project and subject to public works contracting requirements.
Examples: Office supplies, fire trucks, copy machines, cell phones, off-the-shelf software
Architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, or surveying services
Professional services provided by a consultant that fall under the general statutory definitions of architecture (chapter 18.08 RCW), engineering and land surveying (chapter 18.43 RCW), or landscape architecture (chapter 18.96 RCW).
Examples: Architectural blueprints, road design, sewer and water system design
Technical expertise provided by a consultant to accomplish a specific study, project, task, or other work statement, not including professional architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, or surveying services.
Examples: Meeting facilitation, strategic plan development, economic development study, rate setting study
Services provided by vendors for the routine, necessary, and continuing functions of a local agency, mostly related to physical work.
Examples: Courier service, landscape maintenance, recycling pickup, vehicle maintenance, custom-made software
Regarding General Use of Information:
These materials are informational and are subject to change without notice. MRSC and SAO have made good faith efforts to provide reliable interpretations of Washington State statutes relating to purchasing and contracting. This information is not intended to supplant due diligence by your agency's staff, and your agency may have established additional requirements that are not reflected in this tool. Always consult your agency's legal counsel, policies, and ordinances before contracting for any public works, purchases, or services. Neither MRSC or SAO or any officer, or employee of MRSC or SAO warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information or interpretation in these materials and shall not be liable for any losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information or interpretation. Neither MRSC nor SAO are legally bound by any information or interpretation set forth in these materials.
Regarding Federal Funding:
If your project uses any federal funding, you must follow both state and federal competitive requirements, using the most stringent standards of the two. We strongly recommend that you work closely with your granting agency and obtain, in writing, a concise but complete description of all the requirements for that particular grant. For more information, see the Office of Management and Budget's page on Grants Management and Circular Attachments.