New Policy to Help Speed Retainage Release

AGC applauds the recent announcement by L&I regarding efforts to speed up the release of retainage on public works projects. L&I said that beginning April 1 it will implement a new policy designed to distribute money more quickly to contractors for projects for which L&I receives complete paperwork.

Up until now L&I has spent large amounts of staff time chasing down information on incomplete Notices of Completion (NOC) submitted by public entities. With the new policy L&I will simply return the NOC to the public entity if affidavit numbers are not listed for all contractors on the correct form.

“AGC has been a prime advocate for the Department to streamline the process” said AGC Government Affairs Director Rick Slunaker. “One of the things we have urged is that L&I hold the public owners to their responsibility and not have L&I assume their responsibilities. If the retainage request was incomplete L&I should ask the owner who has the relationship with the contractor to work with the contractor to get the affidavit information submitted. General contractors can help themselves by making sure that their subs and sub-subs have submitted their affidavits. If the GC is having trouble with a disappearing sub they have the FOBO filing procedure which was lobbied through the Legislature by AGC last year. Bottom line: pay a little attention up front and avoid potential retainage delays.”

When L&I staff spend large amounts of time collecting the information on incomplete forms it slows down the payment process for everyone. Currently about one-third of the NOCs reviewed by L&I staff are missing affidavit information. After April 1 if the NOC is complete L&I can speed up the release of retainage. If the NOC is not complete with all affidavits on the new NOC form it will be sent back to the public entity.

L&I reiterates that contractors can do themselves and other contractors a favor by making sure to file their affidavits as soon as their work is completed for their project and prior to the public entity submitting the NOC.