Surety And Bond | Surety Construction

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Checklist for Reviewing Bid Bonds

Bid Bonds are the most common form of bid guaranty for public works construction projects.

Inadequate Bid Bond may render bid non-responsive:  Failure of a bidder to provide a bid bond in accordance with the bid documents may render a bid non-responsive.  It is important for public agencies to carefully review bid bonds after bid opening for compliance.

Checklist:  Here's a short checklist of questions to ask and items to review on bid bonds:
  • Is it for the correct project?  Look at the project name to ensure that it is for the project the bid has been submitted for, and that a bid bond for a different project has not been accidentally included in the bid envelope.
  • Is the percentage amount limited by a dollar amount?  Most bid bonds include language similar to: "5% of the amount of the bid" (or for a different percentage depending on the requirements).  If the language of the bid bond states "5% of the amount of the bid, not to exceed $_______," then the public agency must calculate the dollar amount included on the bid bond to make sure it is at least 5% of the amount of the bid.
  • Is the percentage amount limited in any other way?  Some bid bonds are not actually for 5% (or whatever percentage is required) of the amount of the bid, but will state that the bond is good for up to 5%, not to exceed the difference in the bid amount of the low bidder (who fails to execute a contract) and the second low bidder's bid price.  Read the language of the bid bonds submitted to ensure that it is for a percentage that is not limited in this manner.
  • Does the bid bond guaranty that the contractor will provide both a performance and payment bond?  A bid bond is the guaranty of the bonding company that the contractor, if awarded the project, will enter into the contract and provide a performance and payment bond.  Some bid bonds, however, do not have language promising that the contractor will provide bonding to protect for both performance and payment.  In a federal contracting case from last year, a bid was rejected because the bid bond only guaranteed that the contractor would provide a performance bond.  Click here for a summary of this case.  Read the bid bond to ensure it includes a guaranty that the contractor will provide performance and payment bonds (either separately or a combined bond).
  • Has the bid bond been signed by the surety and contractor?  Without signatures from both the surety and contractor, the bonding company could argue that the bid bond was unenforceable.  An unenforceable bid bond essentially means that the bidder did not provide any bid guaranty to protect the public agency.
  • Was the bid bond accompanied by a Power of Attorney?  A Power of Attorney is a document from the bonding company verifying that the individual who signed the bid bond on behalf of the surety is currently authorized to obligate the bonding company.  Check to see if the individual's authority may be limited by a dollar amount of bonding.  Review the Power of Attorney to see if it is current.  If you have questions, call the bonding company, not the attorney-in-fact who signed the bid bond.  Review your bid documents to ensure that you are requiring a Power of Attorney to be submitted with the bid bond.
  • Does the surety meet the public agency's standards?  Many public agencies will establish standards of financial strength that the surety issuing the bid bonds must meet.  Standards may include a particular rating from of an independent rating company, A.M. Best.  Some agencies will also specify that the surety must be authorized to do business in the state and be on a particular state list.  Finally, some agencies require the surety to be on the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Listing of Approved Sureties (Department Circular 570).
Other tips:  The following additional tips are helpful for ensuring that public agencies receive an appropriate bid bond.
  • Agency issued bid bond form:  Some agencies require that bidders submit the bid bond using an agency issued bid bond that is included in the bid documents.  This ensures that some of the problems associated with bid bond language will not be encountered.
  • Define the bid amount that the bid bond must cover:   Review your bid documents to ensure that the instructions to the bidders clearly defines what you consider to be the bid amount.  Does it include sales tax, additive, and alternate bid amounts?  Generally, the best practice is that the bid bond should cover the maximum dollar amount that could be awarded by the public agency.
  • Beware of forged bonds:  I've blogged in the past on cases where bid bonds have been forged.  Click here to review what I've written in the past on this subject.
  • When can you go after a bid bond?  The purpose of bid bonds (or any other form of bid guaranty) is to provide compensation to the public agency in the event the bidder who is awarded the project fails to sign the contract and provide the performance and payment bonds, and evidence of insurance within the time period specified in the bid documents.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Public Works Training in Wisconsin

l'll be traveling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in mid-March to provide public works training at the Spring Conference of the Wisconsin Association for Public Procurement (WAPP), an NIGP chapter.  The conference is being held in conjunction with V.A.L.U.E., a cooperative purchasing program in southeastern Wisconsin.

When:  March 14, 2013

Morning Session:  From 11:00 a.m. to noon, I'll be speaking on "Best Practices in Developing Public Works Bid Documents."  Here's a high level outline of my presentation:
  • Principals of Preparation
  • Formats and Structures
  • Components of Bid Documents
  • Review of Individual Projects
  • Document Control
  • Long Term Review
  • Training
Afternoon Session:  From 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., I'll be speaking on "When Bad Things Happen to Bids: Strategies for Ensuring a Successful Public Works Project."  Here's an outline of the presentation that encourages participation by attendees:
  • Why Aren't Bidders More Careful?
  • Why do Bidders Make Mistakes?
  • Missing Bid Prices
  • Conflict Between Numbers and Words
  • Bid Calculation Errors
  • Claims of Error
  • Is Your Bidder Playing Games?
  • Bid is Too Low
  • Unbalanced Bids
  • Conditioned or Qualified Bids
  • Will the Real Low Bidder Please Stand Up?
  • Additive and Alternate Bids
  • Tie Bids
  • Responsive Bids
  • Responsible Bidders
  • Local Bid Preferences
  • Bid Protests and Appeals
  • What Can You Do to Manage Bidding?
  • What Should be on the Bid Form?
  • On What Days Should You Not Receive Bids?
  • When is a Bid Late?
  • When Should You Take a Bid Guaranty? 
The Weather?  I've been looking at weather reports for Milwaukee every day and there have been many days when it's been very cold with snow.  We'll see what it's like when I am actually there in mid-March!
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Monday, January 28, 2013

Petition Fails to Force New Hampshire Town to Competitively Bid Work

The town of Auburn, New Hampshire (population 4,953 in 2010) has no policy requiring that work be competitively bid.

Petition filed:  The town's lack of a competitive bidding policy prompted some local residents to obtain signatures and file a petition calling for a vote of the citizens that would require the town to adopt a competitive bidding policy:
"requiring that the town and all its departments utilize a competitive bidding system for the expenditure of funds for acquisitions of property, equipment, services, repairs, construction, maintenance, road construction, road repairs, road maintenance, goods, etc."
Petition fails to qualify:  The petition never made it to a vote after the town clerk after discovering that some of the signatories to the petition were not registered voters.

Too expensive to competitively bid work?  Apparently, neither the town nor the state has a law requiring competitive bidding.  Town Administrator Bill Hermon argues that it's too expensive to bid a public works project because of the cost of developing plans and specifications so that all bidders can bid on the same work.  He stated:
"If you were going to put road work out to bid, there's a big expense up front to the extent that if you're going to be fair in a bid process, you're going to have to give all the bidders the same set of standards on which to bid.  So there's going to be detailed plans and expectations with (engineering) costs between $10,000 to $20,000 per project.  So there's a pretty bid expense before you can even begin the physical work."
Town's practice:  Instead of competitively bidding projects, the town establishes rates that contractors must agree to.  The town also buys the materials themselves for installation by contractors, eliminating the markup that contractors charge.  

Problems with the town's approach:  The town's approach to procurement is highly unusual and unorthodox and not in keeping with best practices for public procurement and contracting.  Without competitively bidding work, there are a number of issues raised.  Here are just a few of the issues:
  • Are rates low?  Are the town's pre-established rates competitive or could the town obtain a lower price through bidding?
  • Liability issues:  There may be warranty and other liability issues raised by requiring the contractor to install town purchased materials and equipment.
  • Perception about fairness:  There may be a public perception that the town favors just a few contractors and vendors, rather than opening up town business to all.
  • Quality of work:  Without detailed plans and specifications that have been developed by an architect or engineer, the town may not be obtaining the best quality or design of the work, which may ultimately lead to higher costs for the town.
More information:  Click here for more information.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Accepting a Bond in Lieu of Withholding Retainage

Many public agencies across the country withhold a certain percentage of each progress payment for public works projects as retainage.   

Different purposes of retainage:  The purpose of the retainage varies.  For some the retainage protects the public agency in the event the contractor fails to perform all of the work satisfactorily.  For other agencies, such as those in the State of Washington, retainage is a trust fund to protect subcontractors, suppliers, workers for being paid prevailing wages, and for taxes due to various state agencies (workers compensation, unemployment compensation premiums, and B&O taxes).

A bond in lieu of withholding retainage:  In Washington state, at the contractor's option, a contractor may submit a retainage bond to the public agency in lieu of having the public agency withhold retainage.  The bonding company, or surety, agrees to stand in place of the retainage that would be typically withheld, and to pay any claims filed.

When may a retainage bond be submitted?  A contractor may submit a retainage bond at any time during the project:
  • Before any work has been performed:  The public agency would then pay the contractor 100% of each progress payment, rather than withholding retainage on each progress payment.
  • Prior to the first progress payment:   The contractor may have performed some work during the first month, but not have been paid yet.  The public agency would pay the contractor 100% of the first and each subsequent progress payment, rather than withholding retainage on each progress payment.
  • During the term of the project:  The public agency, after approving the retainage bond, would release any retainage previously withheld, and pay the contractor 100% of any future progress payments.
  • At the end of the project:  After all work has been performed, but prior to release of retainage through the normal process, a contractor may submit a retainage bond.  After approval of the retainage bond, the public agency would release all retainage withheld on the project to the contractor.
Must a public agency accept a retainage bond?  In Washington state, there are two provisions in RCW 60.28.011 that address whether a public agency must accept a retainage bond submitted by a contractor:
  • Bond and bonding company standards:  The retainage bond must meet standards established by the public agency for the form of the retainage bond and for the bonding company.  A retainage bond that does not meet either of these standards may be rejected by the public agency.  It is a good practice for public agencies to have a standard retainage bond form for use by contractors, and to notify contractors in the bidding documents regarding the standards for the bonding company.
  • Good cause for not accepting a bond:  RCW 60.28.011 states that "The public body shall accept a bond meeting these requirements unless the public body can demonstrate good cause for refusing to accept it."  The question is frequently asked what constitutes "good cause for refusing" to accept a retainage bond as long as the bond form and surety meet the agency's standards.  The answer to this question is not clear.  One reason might be if the surety previously provided a retainage bond on another project and failed to pay appropriate claims against the retainage.  Public agencies should be aware, however, that "good cause" is not defined, but there is a presumption that, upon request of a contractor, the public agency must accept a retainage bond meeting the agency's bond form and surety standards.
Why do contractors often like retainage bonds?  Contractors often like submitting retainage bonds because it helps them manage their cash flow.  Instead of only receiving 95% of each progress payment until some point in the future, they receive 100% of the amount they earned each month.  Retainage bonds are relatively inexpensive for a contractor, costing approximately 1% of the amount of the retainage.

Why do public agencies often not like retainage bonds?  Public agencies often do not like retainage bonds because they may reduce the agency's leverage at the end of the project to collect appropriate paperwork from the contractor, such as Affidavits of Wages Paid from the contractor and subcontractors.  In addition, RCW 60.28.021 provides that after all claims against the retainage from subcontractors, suppliers, workers, and state agencies have been satisfied, the public agency, if they have claims against the contractor, may use retainage for this purpose.  It may be more difficult for a public agency to collect on such claims from a bonding company versus actual retainage that has been withheld by the contractor.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Court Case on Bidder Responsibility

Questions:  The following are some of the bidder responsibility related questions that an appeals court dealt with in a bid protest from a Spokane Housing Authority window replacement project:
  • Is it important that a contractor have a certain number of years experience performing similar work?
  • What if the contractor's employees have the experience but not with the company?  
  • What if the main subcontractor who will be performing the work has the requisite experience?  
  • Does an award constitute a contract?  
More Information:  Seattle construction attorney, John Ahlers, has written a good summary of this case in his Construction Law Blog.  Click here to read more about the case that was decided by the Court of Appeals in December 2012.  
Skyline Contractors, Inc. v. Spokane Housing Authority, 2012 WL 6057471 (Dec. 6, 2012)
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Design-Build Owners Forum

Annual Design-Build Owners Forum

When:  Tuesday, February 12, 2013 (7:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.)

Where:  Portland, Oregon (The Governor Hotel)

Agenda:  This will be a facilitated panel discussion on the pros/cons of the Design-Build process from an owner's perspective.  Panel members will include representatives from major public agencies including Portland State University, Salem Hospital, OHSU, Port of Portland, and the Oregon Military Department.  In addition to discussing their positive and negative experiences with Design-Build, the panel members will discuss upcoming capital projects.

Cost:
  • Owners:  $20
  • DBIA Members: $40
  • Non DBIA Members: $60.00  
Information and Registration:  Click here.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Webinar: Specifications - The Foundation of a Solicitation

Webinar:  Specifications - The Foundation of a Solicitation

When:  Feburary 12, 2013 (11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

Where:  Your office, your computer

Sponsored by:  NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing)

Edward Pabor
Cost:
  • $59 - members
  • $180 - non members 
Instructor:  Edward Pabor, CPPO, CDT, C.P.M.

Webinar description:  Specifications are the foundation of a solicitation, and are vital for the public agency and taxpayers to get what they need at a competitive price.  This class will describe the different types of specifications, and the advantages and disadvantages of these different types of specifications.  The webinar will describe which type of solicitation to use for the different types of specifications. 

Information and registration:  Click here.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

State Seeking Applications for Project Review Committee

The Washington State Capital Advisory Review Board (CPARB) is seeking letters of interest from individuals interested in serving a three year term on the Project Review Committee (PRC) for the following categories:
  • 1 Owner - Higher Education
  • 1 Design Industry - Architect/Engineer
  • 1 Design Industry - Architect
  • 1 Construction Manager
  • 1 Owner - Ports
PRC's role:  The PRC is responsible for reviewing and approving applications of public agencies interested in using either Design-Build or GC/CM (General Contractor/Construction Manager) for public works projects, as authorized by chapter 39.10 RCW.

Applications due January 31:  Applications for the open seats on the PRC are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2013.  CPARB will review the letters of interest at its February 14, 1013 meeting.

More information:  For more information about the PRC and the process of applying for one of the seats on the PRC, click here.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Website for State Department of Enterprise Services

The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - DES (formerly General Administration or GA) has launched a new website.

Incorrect website links:  The change in the website address from "GA" to "DES" has had the impact of previous links not working, and of Google searches not always bringing up the new website address.

Procurement Reform:  For example, on January 16, 2013, I published a blog entry on the state's procurement reform effort, and included a link to their website address, which became out of date (I've since corrected it) with the new website addressClick here for the correct link.

Common DES websites:  Here are the website links for a couple of other frequently clicked on links:
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Job Opening: Buyer

King County, Washington
  • Position:  Buyer (2 positions)
  • Location:  Seattle, Washington
  • Closing Date:  Friday, January 25, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time
  • Salary:  $28.80 to $36.50 per hour
  • Job Summary: The first buyer position will be on the Goods and Services team and will be responsible for sourcing contracts for the use of our agencies with solicitations and cooperative procurements while ensuring great pricing and terms.  The second buyer position will be assigned to the P-Card team and will be responsible for supporting our P Card customers, increasing on contract usage, conducting spend analysis, and assisting with training and auditing.
  • For More Information and to Apply:  Click here.  
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Webinar on Best Practices for P-Card Programs

Webinar:  
Best Practices for Building & Strengthening
 Your P-Card Program


When:   Wednesday, January 23, 2013 (1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

Sponsored by:  NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing)

Cost:
  • $59 for members
  • $180 for non-members
Presented by:  Stacy Gregg, CPPB, Procurement Specialist II, Richland County School District One, Columbia, SC

Information and Registration:  Click here.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Update on Procurement Reform for State of Washington Agencies

Under legislation approved in 2012, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) was charged with implementing a Procurement Reform initiative for state agencies and institutions of higher education.

Effective January 1, 2013, all procurement and contracting for these agencies will be governed by chapter 39.26 RCW, replacing chapter 43.19 RCW.  DES is rolling out new policies and best practices to assist in the implementation.

For more information, visit DES' Procurement Reform website by clicking here.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Proposed Public Works Related Legislation

The Washington State Legislature convened on Monday, January 14, 2013 for this year's legislative session which is scheduled to end on April 28, 2013.  Already, there have been a number of bills introduced affecting public works contracting.  

Search for bills introduced:  Click here for the Legislature's website on how to search for bills introduced and to track their history.

Here's a brief summary of just some of the public works related bills:

Applying prevailing wages to public-private partnerships:  House Bill 1025 would extend the application of prevailing wages to "all publicly subsidized work, construction, alterations, repairs, or improvements other than ordinary maintenance."  The bill goes on to specify that work is considered subsidized by the public if any of the following applies:
  • One or more parties to the contract received or will receive a qualifying tax preference
  • One or more parties to the contract received or will receive a loan from the state or any county, municipality, or political subdivision
  • The work occurs on land that a party to the contract leases from the state or or any county, municipality, or political subdivision
  • The work occurs on land that a party to the contract purchased from the state or any county, municipality, or political subdivision for less than fair market value as determined by the state, county, municipality, or political subdivision at the time of the sale.
HB 1025 is very similar to HB 1992 that was considered, but not approved by the Legislature in 2009

Requiring use of 75% Washington residents on public works projects:  House Bill 1026 would require all public agencies to include a specification provision in their public works contracts requiring that 75% of the labor hours performed on the project be done with Washington residents.  There are provisions that residents in bordering states may be considered Washington residents in certain cases and a provision for seeking a waiver of the requirement from the Department of Labor and Industries.  In 1992, the Washington State Supreme Court declared that chapter 39.16 RCW, which was a Washington resident hiring law, was unconstitutional and violated the phe privileges and immunities clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2.  Click here to read a previous blog entry of mine on the subject.  HB 1026 would also apply prevailing wages to work subsidized by the public, very similar to HB 1025 above, but with slightly different provisions.

Requiring use of apprentices on publicly subsidized projects:  Similar to how HB 1025 and HB 1026 would require prevailing wages on publicly subsidized projects that do not currently meet the definition of public works, House Bill 1023 would apply the requirement to use a certain percentage of state registered apprentices on publicly subsidized projects.

Extending and modifying alternative public works contracting procedures:  The Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB) has been studying the three alternative public works contracting procedures of Design-Build, GC/CM (General Contractor/Construction Manager), and Job Order Contracting to make recommendations to the Legislature to reauthorize chapter 39.10 RCW before it sunsets in June of this year.  A bill will be introduced on this subject that does not yet appear to be included in the state's search database of new legislation.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Monday, January 14, 2013

When Bad Things Happen to Bids

Training:  When Bad Things Happen to Bids: Strategies for Ensuring a Successful Public Works Project

When:  This training will be offered in four locations, each from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Mike Purdy
  • February 7, 2013 (Renton, WA)
  • February 12, 2013 (Yakima, WA)
  • February 21, 2013 (Camas, WA)
  • February 28, 2013 (Everett, WA)
Instructor:  Mike Purdy

Outline of Training:  
  • Why Aren't Bidders More Careful?
  • Why do Bidders Make Mistakes?
  • Missing Bid Prices
  • Conflict Between Numbers and Words
  • Bid Calculation Errors
  • Claims of Error
  • Is Your Bidder Playing Games?
  • Bid is Too Low
  • Unbalanced Bids
  • Conditioned or Qualified Bids
  • Will the Real Low Bidder Please Stand Up?
  • Additive and Alternate Bids
  • Tie Bids
  • Responsive Bids
  • Responsible Bidders
  • Local Bid Preferences
  • Bid Protests and Appeals
  • What Can You Do to Manage Bidding?
  • What Should be on the Bid Form?
  • On What Days Should You Not Receive Bids?
  • When is a Bid Late?
  • When Should You Take a Bid Guaranty?
Information and Registration:  Click here for more information and to sign up for this free training.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Decide When to Receive and Open Bids

There are a number of considerations that public agencies should take into account when making the decision on what day public works bids should be received.  These factors should all be considered together to determine the best schedule for when to receive bids.

What's required?  Some states and local governments have laws that specify how many days a public works construction project must be advertised for prior to receiving and opening bids.  Research this and know what requirements govern your agency.

Project schedule:  Each project has certain schedule deadlines that need to be met.  Bid openings should be scheduled in order to keep the project schedule on track.

Bid preparation time:  Public agencies should pay attention to the size and complexity of the project in making the decision how long a project should be advertised for.  If too little time is provided for bidders to prepare their bids before the bid submission deadline, they may either not bid, or submit an unreasonably low or high bid due to not having had sufficient time to understand the project.  An unreasonably low bid may cause problems during the project and result in unnecessary change orders. 

Other projects:  Pay attention to other projects from other public agencies that may be advertised and bidding at the same time.  If there are too many bid openings for the same type of work scheduled for one day, bidders may be forced to pick bidding only a limited number of projects.  This may result in fewer bids being received by your agency, and thus less competitive bids. Try to schedule bid openings when there are not a lot of other bid openings by other agencies in the general region.

Best days of the week:  Most public agencies make it a practice to only receive and open bids on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays.  Receiving bids on Mondays or Fridays may reduce the number of bidders since the bidders' staff may be taking vacation time for a long weekend.

Holidays:  It is a wise idea to avoid receiving and opening bids around major holidays.  Like Mondays and Fridays, it may limit the number of bidders, reduce competition, and result in higher prices for the public agency.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Job Opening: Strategic Sourcing Analyst II


Multnomah County, Oregon
  • Position:  Strategic Sourcing Analyst II
  • Location:  Portland, Oregon
  • Closing Date:  Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time)
  • Salary:  $54,517.68 to $67,045.68 per year
  • Job Summary: This position will be charged with leading the strategic sourcing programs across the County.  The position leads the development and implementation of new strategic sourcing processes and oversees all strategic sourcing initiatives.  The position builds strong working relationships and communicates complex financial and procurement concepts, policy and processes to stakeholders of varying levels of experience and interest.
  • For More Information and to Apply:  Click here.  
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Washington State Follows IRS Lead on Mileage Reimbursement Rate

The State of Washington has decided to follow the lead of the IRS in increasing the mileage reimbursement rate from 55.5 cents a mile to 56.5 cents a mile, effective January 1, 2013.  

Resources:
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions for Procurement Professionals

The start of a new year is a good time for procurement and contracting professionals to make New Years Resolutions.

Here's a suggested list of 5 resolutions for you to consider:

1. Procurement policies:  Does your agency have procurement and contracting policies?  Are they up-to-date?  Do they reflect the most recent laws?  When was the last time they were reviewed?  Are they consistent with your agencies actual practices and and laws or ordinances adopted by your governing body?  It's a good practice to annually review your procurement and contracting policies to ensure they are still appropriate?  If you don't have procurement and contracting policies, it's a great idea to develop them this year.

2. Bidding and contract documents:  Does your agency have standard bidding and contract documents including construction general conditions, instructions to bidders, contracts, etc.?  When was the last time you reviewed them to ensure they still reflect your practices and changes in laws?  Like procurement policies, it's a good idea to review these annually, or develop them if you don't have them.  Your bidding and contract documents should be consistent with your procurement policies and with applicable laws and regulations.

3. Training:  Identify the training needs for your staff relating to procurement.  This might include procurement professionals as well as project managers.  Research what opportunities are available for meeting your training needs.  You can conduct either in-house training, send staff to scheduled training, or bring in a trainer to work with your agency on your specific issues.  The tailored training can also help agencies to clarify their practices and make improvements.

4. Professional associations:  Update your membership in professional organizations like NIGP that will provide you with regular input and networking opportunities.  Make plans to attend regional and annual conferences of these organizations.

5. Read:  If you don't already subscribe to Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog by email, consider signing up.  It's free.  Or if you already subscribe, encourage your colleagues to sign up. 
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Monday, January 7, 2013

Upcoming Construction Industry Events

CMAA Pacific Northwest Chapter (Construction Management Association of America):  Winter Happy Hour Mixer, January 10, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Elysian Brewery (Capitol Hill - 1221 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA). Free.  Click here for more information.  The mission of CMAA "is to promote the profession of Construction Management and the use of qualified Construction Managers on capital projects and programs."

CMAA Pacific Northwest Chapter (Construction Management Association of America):  King County CSO Program Update presented by Bill Cranston of King County, January 17, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Rock Salt Steaks and Seafood (1232 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle, WA).  $45 dinner meeting.  Click here for more information.

Lean Construction Institute (Cascadia Community of Practice - Portland Branch):   Case Study: Integrated Project  Delivery for Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.  Wednesday, January 16, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., in Portland, Oregon (Temp Control Mechanical, 4800 N. Channel Ave.).  Free.  Click here for more information.

Associated Owners & Developers:  2013 National Conference: A Look in the Crystal Ball: Forecasting the Future of the Construction Industry.  February 11-12, 2013 in Arlington, VA at the Hilton Arlington.  Click here for more information.

Washington Chapter, National Utility Contractor's Association (NUCA):  Dinner meeting series with speaker Tony Ventrella.  Wednesday, January 16, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Tukwila, WA (Billy Baroo's Bar and Grill at Foster Gold Course, 13500 Interurban Ave. S.)  Click here for more information and to register.

APWA - Washington State Chapter: SR 520 Evergreen Point New Floating Bridge & Landings Project - A Design/Build Delivery.  Don Oates of KPFF Consulting Engineers will speak on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (lunch provided) at Redmond City Hall.  Space is limited. Click here for more information and how to register.

Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA):  2013 Design-Build in Transportation Conference (March 18-20, 2013) in Orlando, Florida.  2013 Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference (March 20-22, 2013) in Orlando, Florida.  Click here for more information. 

Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington:  Annual Convention, January 25, 2013 at Seattle Four Seasons Hotel.  Click here for more information.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 6, 2013

GC/CM Training on January 31-February 1

2 Days of Training on GC/CM (General Contractor/Construction Manager)

GC/CM is one of three alternative public works contracting procedures authorized by Washington State law (RCW 39.10).  The generic name for this method of contracting, and as it is known elsewhere in the country, is Construction Manager at Risk.

Who should attend?  If you represent a public agency and you are exploring whether to deliver an upcoming project through GC/CM, attendance at the training will be very helpful for you.  Likewise, if you represent a contractor or subcontractor and are interested in doing work for agencies with GC/CM projects, understanding how it works is very important.  

Structure of the training:  The training is a good overview of the GC/CM process and some of the issues involved in implementing it.  There will be presentations by industry experts, hands-on class exercises, and plenty of time for questions and answers with a panel.  I will be one of the presenters and will also be on the panel.

When:  January 31 and February 1, 2013 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Where:  Seattle, Washington (AGC Building, 1200 Westlake Ave. N.)

Cost:  $350

Capacity:  44 seats available (as of January 5, 2013)

Sponsored by:  AGC Education Foundation, University of Washington, and Mechanical Contractors Association of Western Washington

Information and Registration:  Click here.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 
http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com