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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Purchasing and Contracting

The Breakdown of Compost Product Purchasing

The Breakdown of Compost Product Purchasing

Any agency required to adopt a Compost Procurement Ordinance must also use compost for four specified types of projects and will need to report to the state on compost-related purchases. These agencies have some options in terms of where and how to purchase the product.

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New Law Requires Compost Procurement Ordinances by January 1

New Law Requires Compost Procurement Ordinances by January 1

A new state law covering organic materials management requires compost procurement ordinances for certain cities, towns, and counties by January 1, 2023. These ordinances must set forth how compost will be procured, purchased, and incorporated into applicable projects.

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New Resource Helps Local Government and Private Contractors Dig Into Public Works

New Resource Helps Local Government and Private Contractors Dig Into Public Works

In partnership with the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), MRSC is launching "Digging Into Public Works," an initiative that will connect, educate, and engage local government staff and private contractors in the field of public works.

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Saying Yes to Responsive & Responsible Bids

Saying Yes to Responsive & Responsible Bids

In awarding contracts for public works projects or contracts for goods and services, a local government must determine both if the bid is responsive and the bidder is responsible. Fortunately, there are guidelines to help with this process. 

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Does the Contract Need to End, or Can It Live Forever?

Does the Contract Need to End, or Can It Live Forever?

Contracts come with terms which sometimes cover a long period of time. This blog will explore what to consider when choosing the term of a contract.

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2022 Legislation Impacting Public Works Contracting

2022 Legislation Impacting Public Works Contracting

SB 5693 includes funding for a new partnership between MRSC and the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center to bring expanded training, outreach, and technical assistance on public works contracting for  Washington local governments. 

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The ABCs of Piggybacking

The ABCs of Piggybacking

Piggybacking allows an agency to use another agency's contract to procure products, services, and public works. However, contracts should be carefully reviewed to make sure these are adaptable and beneficial and to ensure the procurement process was compliant with the law. 

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No Responses to Your Bid: What Next?

No Responses to Your Bid: What Next?

Does your procurement process suffer from an empty inbox? This blog provides some practical guidance and next steps to consider when there are no responses to your bid.

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Legislative Changes in 2021 for Public Works Contracting

Legislative Changes in 2021 for Public Works Contracting

This blog covers several new laws and amendments made to existing laws that relate to public works contracting. 

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What to Consider When Waiving Retainage and Bonds

What to Consider When Waiving Retainage and Bonds

This blog focuses on why (or why not) an agency might waive retainage and bonds for a public works project.

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Local Government Contract Awards – Who is Eligible

Local Government Contract Awards – Who is Eligible

This blog looks at different types of local government contract awards: public works, services, and purchases. 

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Details of a Public Works Bid

Details of a Public Works Bid

This blog post covers some regulations and typical details that make up a public works bid. 

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2020 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting

2020 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting

This blog post provides an overview of several bills from the 2020 legislative session that impact local government purchasing and contracting. 

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Waiving Competitive Bidding Requirements in the Event of an Emergency

Waiving Competitive Bidding Requirements in the Event of an Emergency

This blog post reviews the rules relating to waiving competitive bidding requirements during emergency situations.

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2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part 3: SHB 1295

2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part 3: SHB 1295

As part of a series on 2019 legislation that impacts municipal contracting and procurement, this blog post provides an overview of SHB 1295, which makes procedural revisions to the alternate public works contracting methods of Design Build and Job-Order Contracting.

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2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part 2

2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part 2

In Part 2 of this series covering new bills impacting local government procurement and contracting, this blog post covers ESSB 5418, ESB 5958, ESSB 5035, and SSB 5017. 

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2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part I: ESSB 5418

2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part I: ESSB 5418

This post provides details for ESSB 5418, a complicated bill from the 2019 Legislative Session that impacts unit-price contracts, bid thresholds, and other topics involving municipal procurement. 

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Bidder Responsibility Criteria Changing July 1

Bidder Responsibility Criteria Changing July 1

Beginning in July, agencies awarding contracts to bidders must first confirm that the bidder has completed a required training on prevailing wage and public works requirements or that the bidder is exempt from this training. 

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A Review of 2018 Legislative Outcomes Related to Public Works

A Review of 2018 Legislative Outcomes Related to Public Works

The 2018 legislative session made some additions and some changes affecting public works contracting. MRSC Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac recaps the rulings and highlights some of the impacts in the post.

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Using RFPs as a Competitive Procurement Tool

Using RFPs as a Competitive Procurement Tool

In this post, Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac examines how an agency can use a Request for Proposals (RFP) as a competitive procurement tool.

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Service Contracting for Personal and Purchased Services

Service Contracting for Personal and Purchased Services

Agencies have wide latitude in setting their own policies and procedures when it comes to selecting and contracting for personal and purchased services. This article defines what type of work falls under each service and how that impacts the type of contract used.

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Contracting – Some General Principles for Counties

Contracting – Some General Principles for Counties

This blog article discusses how counties can contract for goods and services, including the role that elected officials other than county commissioners may play in the process.

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Selecting A & E Services

Selecting A & E Services

Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac simplifies the complicated process for procuring architectural and engineering services for projects not funded by federal dollars. 

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Rosters for Public Works, A&E, and Purchases

Rosters for Public Works, A&E, and Purchases

Use of a roster service offers a less restrictive and time-consuming method than the formal, competitive bid process. Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac reviews the types of rosters that are available to local governments in Washington State. 

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New Legislation Impacts Purchasing, Contracting

New Legislation Impacts Purchasing, Contracting

Purchasing and contracting procedures for Washington local governments changed on July 23, 2017.  Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac reviews the changes. 

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Acrimonious Acronyms in Purchasing and Contracting

Acrimonious Acronyms in Purchasing and Contracting

Will you need an RFQ or an AFB and will you have to ask for an RFP before awarding a contract?  This post helps to demystify the most common acronyms in purchasing and contracting and when you should employ one versus another. 

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The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

Federal awards given to local governments are now subject to revised audit standards under New Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. In the second of this 2-part series, learn more about how the certification requirement and allowable costs have changed, and what you need to do to become compliant with the new guidance. 

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Federal Single Audit and the New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200

Federal Single Audit and the New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200

Federal awards given to local governments are now subject to revised audit standards under New Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. Learn more about these new standards and what it means for your entity's policies regarding procurement, purchasing, and grant and contract management.

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Electronic Signatures, Submissions, and Bids for Local Governments

Electronic Signatures, Submissions, and Bids for Local Governments

SHB 2427 has significantly expanded the ability of local governments to send and receive electronic signatures, submissions, and bid documents. But what exactly are electronic signatures, and how do you use them?

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2016 Legislative Changes Affect Some Purchasing and Contract Procedures

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.

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Do Prevailing Wages Always Prevail? Lessons Learned from our Recent Webinar

Do Prevailing Wages Always Prevail? Lessons Learned from our Recent Webinar

This blog post highlights some key takeaways from a 2015 MRSC webinar on prevailing wages.

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Legislature Tweaks Contracting Statutes

Legislature Tweaks Contracting Statutes

An overview of the important changes to contracting statutes from the 2015 legislative session that affect local governments.

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Contracting – Some General Principles for Cities

Contracting – Some General Principles for Cities

When contracting for services, public works, or purchases, what are the responsibilities of the city council and the mayor/administration? This post addresses a few general situations.

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Important Tips for Writing Your Agency’s Procurement Policies

Important Tips for Writing Your Agency’s Procurement Policies

Adherence to an agency-wide procurement policy/procedure manual is critical to combat irregularities in purchasing and bidding and maintain public trust. If your agency doesn’t yet have a procurement manual, or if you’re looking to give yours a refresher, I’ve put together a few tips in checklist form to help you get started.

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