Monday, May 6, 2013

Update on On-Call Public Works Contracting

The subject of on-call public works and maintenance contracts has been an area of considerable discussion over the last six months.  

Auditor and L&I issues:  It began in the fall of 2012 when the Washington State Auditor's Office issued a statement that they did not believe on-call public works contracts were specifically authorized in state law.  In addition, the Department of Labor and Industries has required that an Affidavit of Wages Paid be filed for each task or work order issued under an on-call contract, regardless of the size of the task or work order.

Meeting last week:  On Tuesday, April 20, 2013 a number of public agencies met in downtown Seattle, with many participating by telephone, to discuss the status of on-call public works and maintenance contracts.  The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) reported that the auditor's office informed them they were continuing to review the issue and to examine specific examples of problematic on-call contracts referred to them by the Department of Labor and Industries.  The auditor's office told MRSC that they would not be available to discuss the issue in more detail until their review was completed, perhaps in June or July.

Public owners group:  A group of public agencies has been meeting for a number of months to discuss the issue.  They are comparing the similarities and differences in how they contract for on-call public works and maintenance, and may develop a "best practices" document to assist others.  The public owners group will be the lead group in the future for concerns of public agencies on the issue of on-call public works and maintenance contracts, and for interacting with the State Auditor's Office and the Department of Labor and Industries.  

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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