Monday, January 31, 2011

4 Topics in 1 Bill

Senate Bill 5519 was recently introduced in the Washington State Legislature.  It's a curious bill that addresses multiple topics.

Contractor Reporting of Off-Site, Prefabricated Items:  One of the amendments proposed would make difficult-to-understand changes in the recently enacted reporting requirements of RCW 39.04.370 regarding the use of off-site, prefabricated, nonstandard, project specific items produced outside of the State of Washington for a public works project.

Shift from Labor and Industries to Awarding Agencies:  The following chart summarizes the key changes from the current requirements to the proposed requirements.  The general thrust of this section of the bill is to make awarding agencies and not the Department of Labor and Industries responsible for the reporting requirements.  

The information about the use of off-site, prefabricated, nonstandard, project specific items would be reported to awarding agencies (not L&I), awarding agencies would somehow be responsible for ensuring the Affidavit of Wages Paid form included a request for this information, and awarding agencies (not L&I) would be responsible for reporting the information to the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB). 

Current Requirement
Proposed Requirement
Contractors report information on use of prefabricated items
To L&I on the Affidavit of Wages Paid form
To the awarding agency
Include on the Affidavit of Wages Paid form requests for the required data
L&I responsible for taking this action
Awarding agency responsible for taking this action
Transmit information to CPARB
Awarding agency

It doesn't really make any sense for awarding agencies to pick up these duties when the reporting tool has already been established by the Department of Labor and Industries, and when the bill still requires the use of the Affidavit of Wages Paid.

Other features of SB 5519 include the following:
  • State Agency Purchases from Correctional Industries:  For institutions of higher education, the bill would shift from the requirement to establish specific goals for using correctional industries to a requirement to "endeavor to purchase any goods or services produced in part or in whole from correctional industries when quality, service, and delivery will meet institutional needs and result in the best value for expenditure of state and institutional dollars." (RCW 28B.10.029)
  • Relaxed Personal Service Contract Competition Threshold :  For state agencies subject to requirements for the use of personal service contracts, the bill would change the threshold for when evidence of competition is required from $5,000 to $20,000.  Under the current law (RCW 39.29), evidence of informal competition is required for personal service contracts of $5,000 to less than $20,000.
  • Repeal of State Purchase Thresholds Inflationary AdjustmentRCW 43.19.1906, which is applicable to state agencies, establishes certain dollar thresholds and provides that the Office of Financial Management should adjust those thresholds based on inflation.  SB 5519 would repeal the provision regarding OFM adjustment of the thresholds.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2011 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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