Monday, August 2, 2010

Retainage Release Update from Dept. of Labor and Industries (WA)

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) currently has a backlog of a little over 60 days from the date they receive a request for retainage release from a public agency until they send their approval.  As of last week, L&I informed me they had a little over 600 Requests for Release that had not been acted upon.

Notification Process of Missing Affidavits:  If there are missing Affidavits of Wages Paid for the contractor or any subcontractors, it may take longer for L&I to respond.  L&I is planning to implement soon a new process on notifying parties of missing Affidavits.  Their plan is as follows:
  • They will call the subcontractor with a missing Affidavit as soon as L&I staff are aware it is missing.
  • After 30 days, if the Affidavit is still missing, L&I will contact the general or prime contractor to notify them that the subcontractor has not filed the Affidavit.
  • After 60 days, L&I will contact the public agency to let them know what Affidavits are still missing.
Streamlining Efforts:  L&I is continuing to evaluate their process to try to streamline the review of Requests for Release.  L&I has recently shifted the task of entering Requests for Release into their database to administrative support staff, instead of the two full time staff who review the Requests.  Thus, Requests for Release are being entered into the database quickly.  L&I is also considering other steps to make the process more timely.

What Can Public Agencies Do?  To help expedite L&I's review, if public agencies write the Affidavit of Wages Paid number on the Request for Release form, that will save L&I time and result in quicker processing of the release letters.

Combined Release Form:  L&I is having discussions with the Department of Revenue and Employment Security Department about moving forward with a combined release form for public agencies to complete.

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