2016 Legislative Changes Affect Some Purchasing and Contract Procedures
On June 9, 2016 three legislative bills became effective that affect the procedures for purchasing and contracting for local governments in Washington State. Here is a quick summary of those changes. We have also updated our Finding Your Contracting Requirements tool and the County Bidding Book to reflect these changes.
SSB 6314: New Agency Force Limits for Riverine and Stormwater Projects
SSB 6314 affects counties with over 400,000 population that have established a county purchasing department. In addition to the existing day labor limits in RCW 36.32.235, a new provision in SSB 6314 adds agency force limits for riverine and stormwater projects. Single craft day labor limits for riverine and stormwater projects are $125,000 and multiple craft limits are $250,000.
These projects are defined as:
- Riverine project. A project of construction, alteration, repair, replacement, or improvement other than ordinary maintenance, executed at the cost of the state or of any municipality, or which is by law a lien or charge on any property, carried out on a river or stream and its tributaries and associated floodplains, beds, banks, and waters for the purpose of improving aquatic habitat, improving water quality, restoring floodplain function, or providing flood protection.
- Stormwater project. A project of construction, alteration, repair, replacement, or improvement other than ordinary maintenance, executed at the cost of the state or of any municipality, or which is by law a lien or charge on any property, carried out on a municipal separate storm sewer system, and any connections to the system, that is regulated under a state-issued national pollutant discharge elimination system general municipal stormwater permit for the purpose of improving control of stormwater runoff quantity and quality from developed land, safely conveying stormwater runoff, or reducing erosion or other water quality impacts caused by municipal separate storm sewer system discharges.
SHB 2427, Section 8: Acceptance of Electronic Bids
Section 8 of SHB 2427 modifies RCW 36.32.235 to allow counties with over 400,000 population that have established a county purchasing department to accept written bids in either hard copy or electronic form as specified by the county.
SHB 2427, Section 9: Increased Bid and Vendor List Limits
For advertisement and formal sealed bidding to be dispensed with as to purchases between
((five))ten thousand and ((twenty-five))fifty thousand dollars, the county legislative authority must use the uniform process to award contracts as provided in RCW 39.04.190. Advertisement and formal sealed bidding may be dispensed with as to purchases of less than ((five))ten thousand dollars upon the order of the county legislative authority.
If required, purchase bids shall be in writing and may be in either hard copy or electronic form as specified by the county.
HB 2771: Hospital Districts Can Award Contracts over Engineer’s Estimates
HB 2771 affects public hospital districts and eliminates the language in RCW 70.44.140, “…. no contract shall be let in excess of the estimated cost of the materials or work ….” This provides hospital districts with the ability to award contracts that may be over the engineer’s estimate, but still within available funds and will reduce the frequency and aggravation of having to rebid projects.
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