Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fire Station Addition Completed by Volunteers in Violation of State Law

A $71,284 addition to a town's fire station was completed by volunteers when the town's competitive bid limit required any public works project over $45,000 to be competitively bid.

Audit Finding Issued:  The Washington State Auditor's Office issued a finding against the Town of Eatonville for failing to competitively bid the project through either the town's Small Works Roster or through an advertised invitation to bid.  The town also failed to complete a cost estimate for the project as required by state law. 

Process Deficiencies:  The audit finding noted the following deficiencies in the town's process:
  • Violation of the competitive bidding requirements of RCW 35.23.352
  • Increased risk by not obtaining liability insurance from the volunteer firefighters
  • Not obtaining a performance bond to ensure successful completion of the project
  • Contractors did not have the opportunity to bid the project
  • Prevailing wages were not paid
Town's Response:  The Town responded by affirming its commitment to comply with state law in the future, noting that the Town now has a new Mayor and Town Administrator who have established new policies and expectations.

Read the Audit:  To read the audit finding, click here.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2011 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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