bidding on public works seminar

Today I’ll be co-chairing a seminar addressing bidding on public works project. This will be a half-day presentation. We’ve assembled the movers and shakers in construction law and public works to discuss the laws and policies affecting what many of my clients do: bid and build public works projects. Co-chairing the presentation with me is Tom Kuffel, who heads-up the Contracts Section of the Civil Division of the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Tom oversees the contracts that King County enters into in the process of building public works projects. We’re looking forward to an excellent presentation that provides both the public owner’s and contractor’s perspectives on public works bidding.

The Seminar Group is hosting the presentation, which includes both the live seminar here in Seattle and a webcast. More information—including the presentation materials—can be found here.

In the future....

Our state’s capital is beautiful this time of year. But that beauty belies some of the incredibly bad pieces of legislation that construction industry trade groups like the AGC of Washington and NUCA have to fend-off each year.

Like most other years since becoming an attorney, this year I joined in the effort to guide legislators in their lawmaking by providing a realistic assessment of how new laws might affect construction in our state.

Over the last year, NUCA’s Legislative Affairs Committee has been devising proposed legislation to add the posting of bid results to the bid protest process set forth in RCW 39.04.105. Making several trips to Olympia to testify in support of the bill—including this most recent trip—I've discussed how the new law would increase transparency and procurement efficiencies by allowing interested bidders to review other bids before deciding whether to protest. The bill (ESSB 5418) continues to work its way through the legislative process.

While NUCA’s agenda was to create a new law and gather support around it, the AGC’s main agenda this year has been playing defense on a number of particularly anti-business bills, including a “direct contractor” bill that would have held general contractors and upstream subcontractors liable for downstream subcontractors’ failures to pay union benefits. The real problem with the bill was that it sought to hold general contractors and subcontractors strictly liable when these contractors have very little ability to ensure trust benefits are being paid.

See the AGC of Washington’s website for more on defeating the so-called direct contractor” bill.