Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Keep or Deposit Bid Guaranties?

Public works projects generally require a bid guaranty be submitted by bidders to prevent frivolous bids and as an indication that the bidder is serious about its bid amount.

Deposit bid guaranty within 24 hours:  If a public agency receives a bid guaranty in the form of a cashier's check, certified check, cash, or money order, Washington state law requires that the money be deposited within 24 hours of receipt, instead of keeping the bid guaranty and returning it to the bidder after a contract has been executed.

State law:  RCW 43.09.240 states the following:
Every public officer and employee, whose duty it is to collect or receive payments due or for the use of the public shall deposit such moneys collected or received by him or her with the treasurer of the local government once every twenty-four consecutive hours. The treasurer may in his or her discretion grant an exception where such daily transfers would not be administratively practical or feasible as long as the treasurer has received a written request from the department, district, or agency, and where the department, district, or agency certifies that the money is held with proper safekeeping and that the entity carries out proper theft protection to reduce risk of loss of funds. Exceptions granted by the treasurer shall state the frequency with which deposits are required as long as no exception exceeds a time period greater than one deposit per week.
Review your practice:  Check with your attorney and finance officials to ensure that your agency's practices on depositing bid guaranties are consistent with state law.  
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC


Anonymous said...

I do not believe this is consistent with advice from the state auditor nor state law. Most entities stautues require return of THE check, cash, etc for bids not awarded the contract. Depositing the money is essentially collecting on the bond which could land you in court.

Mike Purdy said...

I've asked the State Auditor's Office for their opinion on this issue.

Sue Nielsen said...

What response did you get from the State Auditor's Office? Keep THE check or deposit?
Thank you!

Mike Purdy said...

I sent the State Auditor's Office a reminder email today asking for their opinion on this subject.