Friday, June 29, 2007

Bidder Responsibility Guidelines

The task force charged with developing suggested bidder responsibility guidelines to help public agencies implement the requirements of SHB 2010 met for the first time this afternoon. The group was appointed by the Industry-Wide Subcommitee of the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB). It was a productive conversation. I will be making changes to the draft that I put on the table for consideration, based on comments received today. The task force will meet again in July and then report on its progress on the guidelines at the August meeting of CPARB.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Public Works Contract Training

On August 1st, the Washington State Chapter of NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing) will offer a one day class in Everett on the "Basics of Public Works Contracts Administration," taught by Charlotte Walther, Procurement and Contracts Administrator for the Port of Everett. Charlotte is a very knowledgeable resource. I've got a flyer I can e-mail you with more information on the class. You can register online at

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Legislative Updates on Web

I recently conducted two training sessions for APWA/MRSC on 2007 Legislative updates affecting public works contracting. Sue Ownby from the City of Yakima has graciously made the Powerpoint presentation available on the website of the Washington State Chapter of NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing):

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bidder Responsibility Language

I've developed some language I intend to use in bidding documents for the University of Washington in order to comply with the new law on bidder responsibility (SHB 2010). This language is on my website, and I welcome your comments and suggestions for improving the language, as well as your questions about how to implement the legislation.

You will find language on the Resources page of my website ( for:
  1. Mandatory bidder responsibility criteria (for Instructions to Bidders).
  2. Supplemental bidder responsibility criteria (for Instructions to Bidders). I've only provided the framework and specific criteria would need to be developed for each project if you choose to add supplemental criteria. Remember that using supplemental criteria is optional.
  3. Subcontractor responsibility requirements (this is mandatory for all public works contracts and subcontracts, regardless of tier).
The Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB) will be developing suggested guidelines for how to develop supplemental bidder responsibility criteria, and these will be published on CPARB's website once they are adopted. CPARB's Industry-Wide Subcommittee has established a task force to develop the guidelines. The task force, which I am chairing, will meet for the first time on June 29, 2007.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Survey of Minority Businesses

The University of Washington's Business School recently conducted a survey on the health of minority small businesses in Washington State. The 25 page report is available online at

Prevailing Wage for Ditch Diggers

The prevailing wage for a ditch digger in King County is $34.36 per hour. I can now testify from personal experience that they earn every penny of it. The water line to my house recently sprung a leak, something I discovered last Saturday when I opened up my $800 water/sewer bill! After getting a couple of bids from contractors to dig a 75 foot long trench and install a new pipe ($3,800 and $8,500), I decided that I could dig the trench myself. So my wife and I have been slowly chipping away at the dirt. We hope to finish up in the next few days. It's tiring work. Ditch diggers (a sub-classification of Laborers) work hard to earn the $34.36 per hour prevailing wage rate.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Update on UW Job

I've received a number of resumes for the new position of Contracts Administrator at the UW and have started to review them. I hope to start conducting initial telephone screening interviews in the next week or so (depending on my time availability). The job will remain open until filled. If you have any questions about it, please call me at (206) 221-4235.

Effective Dates for New Laws

The re-authorization of the Alternative Public Works law (General Contractor/Construction Manager, Design/Build, and Job Order Contracting) becomes effective on July 1, 2007. Note, however, that there are specific provisions in the law (SSHB 1506) that deal with the transition period between the old law and the new law.

The legislation establishing bidder responsibility criteria on public works projects goes into effect on July 22, 2007 (SHB 2010). This law will affect projects awarded on July 22nd or later.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Let me Count the Days

The following websites provide good resources for calculating days and dates on public works construction projects.

Calculating number of days between two dates: If you want to calculate the number of days from the Notice to Proceed to the completion date, go to the following website address: If the “from” date is the Notice to Proceed date and to “to” date is the completion date, remember that you will need to add one day to the result in order to account for the actual day of the Notice to Proceed.

Calculating a date based on number of days: If you want to calculate the completion date from the Notice to Proceed date based on the number of days allowed, go to the following website address: You will need to subtract one day from the result, again in order to account for the actual day of the Notice to Proceed.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Types of Business Structures

I found a helpful website from the Department of Licensing (Washington State) that defines different types of business structures, such as sole proprietorship, different types of partnerships, corporation, and other forms. You can find it at the following website address: I've also added this as a link on the Online Reference section of my website (

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

UW Job Opportunity

I'm currently recruiting for a Contracts Administrator at the UW's Capital Projects Office to help provide some relief for me from some of the day-to-day contract reviews so I can begin to focus on the longer term improvements to the University's contracts and contracting practices. This is a new position and will remain open until filled.

If you're interested, take a look at the UW's website for more details, or call me at the UW: (206) 221-4235.

UW website:

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Training Opportunities

Purchasing, Bidding, and Contract Management:

Responsible Bidder Bill Signed

On April 19, 2007, Governor Christine Gregoire signed SHB 2010 that establishes mandatory bidder responsibility criteria for public works construction projects in the State of Washington. The legislation also enables a public agency to establish supplemental responsibility criteria relevant to a particular project. In addition, there are subcontractor responsibility criteria and contract language that must be in every public works contract and subcontract.

The legislation was developed by the Industry-Wide Subcommittee of the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB), a group with participation by public agencies, contractors, subcontractors, and the labor community. I participated on this subcommittee and helped negotiate and draft the legislation. I am chairing a task force of the Industry-Wide Subcommittee to help develop suggested guidelines to help government agencies implement the new legislation. Let me know if you have any questions.