Monday, April 27, 2009

King County Evaluating its Contracting Practices

Washington State's largest county is moving forward with plans to streamline its procurement and contracting practices and making award decisions more transparent.

The King County Council unanimously approved a motion to bring more transparency to the County's contracting practices. The Council expressed concern that the County's selection practices, while they may result in better value to the public, often obscure why certain procurement decisions are made, especially when an award is made to a firm not offering the lowest price.

In the Council's motion of April 20, 2009, the Council requested the King County Executive "to review county code and procurement practices with the goal of making it clear to bidders and to the public why a particular bidder was selected for a specific contract and streamlining procurement procedures based on the best practices of other governments and large corporations."

The motion directs the County Executive to submit a report and proposed legislation, if appropriate, by July 17, 2009.

The initiative apparently stems from an award recently made for an office supply contract in which the successful vendor's price was not the lowest, but they were selected based on other factors as well.

To read the complete motion and a staff report with background information,
click here.

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