Washington Legislature Passes 5 Public Works Related Bills – Mike Purdy’s Public Contracting Blog

About Mike Purdy

With over 30 years of contracting experience and an additional 10 years of consulting, Mike Purdy has an extensive background in public procurement and contracting.  Mike has trained over 100 public agencies, industry associations, and businesses and he has served as a contracting manager for Seattle Housing Authority and the University of Washington.

Overview of 5 Public Works Related Bills – Not yet signed by the Governor

Increase the dollar threshold for when a payment/performance bond may be waived

Project Amount – Increases project threshold from $35,000 to $150,000.
Retainage Amount – Retainage is decreased from 50% to 10% to waive the payment and performance bond.
Individual Sureties – Publics agencies can accept payment and performance bond from an individual surety or sureties for projects up to $150,000, increased from $100,000.
General Contractor/Construction Manager – The retainage provision doesn’t appear to accomplish much because GC/CM projects exceed $150,000.

Grant subcontractors additional rights to have retainage released early through a retainage bond

Subcontractors may request the contractor for retainage bond to public agency for portion of subcontractor’s retainage.  Currently, subcontractor must wait for contractor to take this action.
Contractor can withhold the subcontractor’s portion of bond premium.
Within 30 days after subcontractor’s request, the contractor must submit the retainage bond to the public agency unless “the bond is not commercially available, of the subcontractor refuses to pay the subcontractor’s portion of the bond premium and to provide the contractor with a like bond.”
Public agency shall accept a retainage bond as long as the requirements are met and the bonding company is acceptable.

Add an additional criterion to the list of mandatory bidder responsibility criteria

Public agencies must check and validate the contractor’s compliance with state’s minimum wage laws

Authorize Public Utility Districts to contract for on-call public works projects

Public Utility Districts are now authorized to bid and contract for on-call public work contracting.

Authorize transit agencies (public transportation benefit area authorities) to use Job Order Contracting

“every public transportation benefit area authority as defined under RCW 36.57A.010” to the list of agencies and agency types authorized to use Job Order Contracting, one of three alternative public works contracting methods authorized in RCW 39.10.

For more information about the 5 Public Works related bills and Mike Purdy’s comments on each, please visit: