Thursday, May 20, 2010

Report on Bidder Responsibility Task Force Meeting

The Task Force on Bidder Responsibility, under the umbrella of Washington State's Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB), met for two hours on Thursday, May 20, 2010, to discuss the issues and to chart a course of action.

Contractor Concerns:  At issue are concerns expressed by contractors about how some public agencies have developed supplemental bidder responsibility criteria that is not consistent with RCW 39.04.350 and that overly restricts competition.

Action Steps:  The Task Force agreed on two preliminary action steps: 
  1. To revise the Suggested Guidelines for Bidder Responsibility and to make recommendations to CPARB

  2. To launch an outreach and training initiative to ensure that public agencies and contractors understand how supplemental bidder responsibility should be used.
Revisions to Guidelines:  The revisions to the Suggested Guidelines for Bidder Responsibility that the Task Force will consider will include the following: 
  • Provide suggested bidding document language for public agencies outlining the appeal process during bidding that is outlined in RCW 39.04.350.

  • Provide additional language and structure for public agencies using supplemental bidder responsibility criteria so that the criteria, documentation required, and deadlines (all required by state law) are consistently and clearly described in bidding documents.

  • Provide additional examples of good supplemental bidder responsibility criteria used by public agencies.

  • Provide examples (anonymous) of bad supplemental bidder responsibility criteria used by public agencies along with language showing how the criteria could be improved.

  • Provide a checklist for public agencies to use in developing criteria that touch on key decision points.
Next Meeting:  At the next meeting of the Task Force, which has not yet been scheduled, the group will review specific proposed wording changes to the Suggested Guidelines.  In addition, the Task Force will discuss the concept of whether there should be some type of enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with the provisions of state law.

Longer Term Issue:  A longer term issue that the Task Force will address is how to help ensure that public agencies use relevant supplemental bidder responsibility criteria on projects.

No comments: