News Release: DES adopts proposed changes to public works contracting rules

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OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Enterprise Services has adopted changes to its public works contracting rules (WAC 200-330) and filed a Permanent Rule Making Order with the Office of the Code Reviser. The adopted rules align with changes to the state small works contracting process.

The permanent rules become effective July 1, 2024 and provide model procedures for state agencies and local governments to use when contracting for small public works under state law.

Updates include:

  • Updated definitions.
  • Recordkeeping requirements for contracting agencies.
  • Clarifications on estimated cost and how change orders impact cost.
  • Requirements for contractor rotation policies to ensure that agencies avoid favoritism when using direct contracting.
  • Guidance on direct contracting solicitations, including quote solicitation and price negotiation.

DES would like to thank everyone who provided input during the rulemaking process.

Before adopting the changes, DES worked with stakeholders on a rule draft between September and December 2023 to ensure that the rules meet the intent of the Legislature under SSSB 5268 to update and revise the small and limited works roster process to:

  • increase administrative efficiency,
  • encourage greater participation and utilization by small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses,
  • and continue to protect the rights of workers engaging in public works projects.

After proposing the rule updates, DES held a formal comment period, including a Jan. 9 public hearing.

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