Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bid Form Signature Block

This is a follow-up to my recent blog posting about the new Washington state law adding compliance with the state's minimum wage laws as a mandatory bidder responsibility criterion.

Bidder's Place of Signing Bid Form:  I noted that that one option for obtaining the documentation of the bidder's compliance is to include a statement on the bid form.  The bidder would then just sign one document.  Such a signature must be accompanied by a statement that the bidder is signing the bid form under the penalty of perjury.  The revision to RCW 39.04.350 requires compliance with RCW 9A.72.085 which, in addition to the perjury statement requires that the signature block must note the place of signing by the bidder.

Sample Signature Block:  I've included below a signature block that I've used in the past that includes both the perjury statement and place of signing.

Consult With Your Attorney:  Review your bid form and check with your attorney to ensure that your bid form is in compliance with state law, especially if you are including the sworn statement for compliance with minimum wage laws on your bid form.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2017 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

Monday, July 24, 2017

New Mandatory Public Works Bidder Responsibility Criteria Effective July 23, 2017

The Washington Legislature adopted a new law (Senate Bill 5301) that adds an additional criterion to the list of mandatory bidder responsibility criteria that public agencies must verify and document before awarding any public works project, regardless of cost.  

Effective Date:  The new law became effective on July 23, 2017.  This means that public agencies must ensure that the required sworn statement is obtained prior to award of the public works project. 

Minimum Wage Compliance by Bidder:  The new law establishes a new criterion relating to the contractor's compliance with the state's minimum wage laws.  It also dictates that, prior to award, the contractor must sign a statement that they have not violated the law within a three year period.
  • Criterion:  Here's the language from the law: "Within the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the bid solicitation, not have been determined by a final and binding citation and notice of assessment issued by the department of labor and industries or through a civil judgment entered by a court of limited or general jurisdiction to have willfully violated, as defined in RCW 49.48.082, any provision of chapter 49.46, 49.48, or 49.52 RCW."
  • Documentation:  Here's the language from the law on what is required for documentation: "Before award of a public works contract, a bidder shall submit to the contracting agency a signed statement in accordance with RCW 9A.72.085 verifying under penalty of perjury that the bidder is in compliance with the responsible bidder criteria requirement of subsection (1)(g) of this section.  A contracting agency may award a contract in reasonable reliance upon such a sworn statement." The reference to subsection (1)(g) refers to the "criterion" paragraph above.
Methods for Verifying Bidder's Compliance:  There are a number of options, some better than others, for how a public agency can obtain the required sworn statement from the bidder whose bid is under consideration by the public agency for award. I recommend use of the first option listed below.

  Include Sworn Statement on Bid Form:  This option is the easiest administrative method and least risky option.  I recommend use of this option.  Under this option, a public agency would include the following statement as part of the Bid Form:  "The undersigned Bidder hereby certifies that, within the three-year period immediately preceding the bid solicitation date for this Project, the bidder is not a “willful” violator, as defined in RCW 49.48.082, of any provision of chapters 49.46, 49.48, or 49.52 RCW, as determined by a final and binding citation and notice of assessment issued by the Department of Labor and Industries or through a civil judgment entered by a court of limited or general jurisdiction."  In addition, the following language would need to be part of the signature block for the Bid Form: "I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct."  This statement is necessary to comply with the provisions of the new law that dictates that the sworn statement must be in compliance with RCW 9A.72.085.

  Request Sworn Statement from Low Bidder:  Under this option, after bid opening, the public agency would request the low bidder submit the sworn statement after bid opening.  The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) has developed a sworn statement for this purpose.  Click here to visit MRSC's website where you can click on the link for "model certification form."  This is an additional step for the public agency that can be eliminated by including the sworn statement on the Bid Form (see option above). While I don't recommend this option because it is an additional step, there is nothing inherently wrong with this option.

  Include Sample Sworn Statement in Bid Documents:  Under this option, a public agency would include MRSC's model certification form as a sample in the bid documents.  The public agency would still be required to obtain the signed form from the low bidder prior to award, which represents an additional step like the option immediately above. It could be confusing for bidders whether they are required to submit the sample with the bid or after bid opening.  I do not recommend this option.

  Require Separate Sworn Statement be Submitted with the Bid:  Using MRSC's model certification form, under this option, the bid documents would require that the signed sworn statement be submitted with the bid.  This is not a good option, as it increases the risk that a bidder (the low bidder) will fail to submit the sworn statement with the bid, thereby rendering the entire bid non-responsive and unable to be considered further.  Using best practices for public works bidding, public agencies should limit the number of documents submitted with the bid to the Bid Form, bid guaranty, subcontractors list if the project is estimated to cost $1 million or more, and any documents required by federal or state grant provisions. I strongly recommend that public agencies not use this option. 

Other Mandatory Bidder Responsibility Criteria:  The new law adds compliance with minimum wage laws to the existing list of mandatory bidder responsibility criteria that public agencies must verify and document prior to award of any public works project.  The other criteria may be found in RCW 39.04.350.  Review your agency's practices to ensure that you have a process to verify and document the mandatory bidder responsibility criteria for all public works projects. 

Other New Public Works Laws:  See my blog from April 17, 2017 for a description of five new public works laws that do the following:
  • Increases the dollar threshold for when a payment/performance bond may be waived
  • Grants subcontractors additional rights to have retainage released early through a retainage bond
  • Adds an additional criterion to the list of mandatory bidder responsibility criteria
  • Authorizes Public Utility Districts to contract for on-call public works projects
  • Authorizes transit agencies (public transportation benefit area authorities) to use Job Order Contracting
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Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2017 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Job Opening: Purchasing Manager

City of Bellingham
  • Position: Purchasing Manager
  • Location:  Bellingham, Washington
  • Closing Date:  Friday, August 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm Pacific Time
  • Interview Schedule:  The most qualified candidates will be asked to participate in a panel interview on August 31, 2017.
  • Salary: $80,244 - $95,832 annually
  • Job Summary: The Public Works Purchasing Manager oversees city-wide procurement processes that ensure compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and City policies and procedures. Performs complex administrative and technical purchasing work and provides procurement expertise in managing and coordinating a centralized procurement system of contracts, goods and services as well as asset storage, recovery and disposal.
  • Essential Functions of the Job: 
  1. Recommends, implements and maintains City purchasing systems for maximum efficiency and to achieve optimum life-cycle cost for all goods and services purchased.   Oversees the analysis of cost, performance, quality, service and delivery.  Provides input and makes recommendations to City Administration on purchasing and procurement policies and procedures.  Implements city wide policies and procedures, oversees the creation of manuals, forms, charts, informational materials, related training programs and briefings. Using various analytical methods evaluates City's current purchasing patterns and practices; develops and continuously improves centralized purchasing systems and procedures.
  2. Oversees all City procurement processing, monitoring, bids, solicitations, addenda, administration, clarifications, modification, compliance, negotiations, changing conditions, coordination of legal review, terminations, and purchase orders. Provides responsive support to City Departments regarding complex procurement issues, including Revenue Contracts, Technology, Architect services, Engineering services, Construction, and Public Works Contracts, and Systems contracts.  Provides training and technical guidance as needed.
  3. Oversees and directs staff on development of contracting forms and contracting documents.  Provides recommendations to and collaborates with Assistant City Attorneys and Public Works executive team on standards, processes, risk assessment, liability and insurance requirements.  Directs work of purchasing staff in carrying out and executing contracts. 
  4. Prepares and presents recommendations to City administration regarding standards for competitive purchasing of professional services, trains departments on procedures for acquiring professional services, monitors compliance with City standards, and recommends corrective action as needed.
  5. Manages and oversees the central procurement system to maintain the integrity of the public procurement process and guard against ethical challenges and charges of fraud, waste or inefficiency. Makes recommendations on sole source purchase requests and other complex purchases to the Public Works Director or designee within the limits of Bellingham municipal code and state law. 
  6. Ensures accountability, compliance and consistent interpretation and application with all current and applicable state and federal laws, agency policies and procedures, rules and regulations.
  7. Oversees the management of warehouse and parts room operations, inventory control and surplus property. Develops and implements the warehouse municipal emergency response capability.  Ensures full compliance of warehouse with safety regulations.
  8. Directs, plans and organizes the work of purchasing and warehouse unit staff.  Selects candidates for hire, trains, schedules, assigns and reviews work of staff.  Establishes performance standards, conducts performance reviews, coaches, counsels and recommends disciplinary actions.  Plans and carries out employee development.
  • Experience and Training: 
  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, finance, public administration or closely related field.
  • Two (2) years experience as a Purchasing Manager or five (5) years as a Senior Buyer with responsibility for a wide range of buying, including consumable supplies, commodity and/or heavy equipment acquisition.
  • Three (3) years supervisory experience.
  • Experience with budgeting preferred.
  • Experience with contract administration strongly preferred.
  • A combination of education and experience that provides the applicant with the required skills and abilities will be considered.
  • For More Information and to Apply:  Click here
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2017 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC