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MRSC Launches New Contracting Requirements Tool

July 10, 2015  by  John W. Carpita, PE
Category:  Purchasing and Contracting

MRSC Launches New Contracting Requirements Tool

As anyone who works in local government purchasing, public works, or service contracting knows, the state competitive bidding statutes are complex and can be confusing and even frustrating. Different types of agencies have different requirements for different kinds of projects.

To make it easier to sort all this information out, MRSC is excited to launch a new online research tool, Find Your Contracting Requirements, which allows local government officials to quickly pinpoint their statutory requirements for public works, purchasing, and service contracts.

Find Your Contracting Requirements asks you up to three questions to identify your project type and agency type, and then it provides you with information tailored to your specific situation, answering key questions such as:

  • Is competitive bidding required?
  • Can I use a vendor list or roster process?
  • What advertisement process do I have to follow?
  • What competitive bidding exemptions might apply to my project?
  • Can I use day labor for public works projects?

The tool links to your specific RCW sections, as well as MRSC’s trove of related content, including webpages, sample documents, and publications, to help make sure your project is completed as effectively as possible.

Created in partnership with the State Auditor’s Office Local Government Performance Center, this tool serves nearly every type of local government in Washington, including cities, towns, counties, water-sewer districts, ports, school districts, and dozens of other special purpose districts. MRSC’s public works and legal consultants have thoroughly reviewed the information over the past six months, and we will continue to update and revise the tool in the future.

We encourage you to try it out or share it with those in your jurisdiction who work in purchasing and contracting. We also welcome any feedback, so please send any questions or comments to me at

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

About John W. Carpita, PE

John was MRSC’s resource for many years on engineering design, purchasing and contracting issues, local improvement districts, and other infrastructure issues. He had a widely varied career as a consultant, county engineer, city engineer and project manager. He is now retired.



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