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Responsible Bidder Criteria Showing Up in Bid Documents

House Bill 2010 passed last year by the Legislature allows public agencies to add applicable responsible bidder criteria for specific projects. Recently both King County and Community Transit have used these criteria as included in their bid documents to eliminate otherwise qualified bidders. The industry concern is that public agencies not use the criteria arbitrarily.

Nora Huey former manager of King County Public Works Procurement and now Chief Procure Officer for the Port of Seattle says We dont want the minimum qualification to be too limiting. We want contractors bidding on our projects. If contractors see problems with the criteria they should let us know about it prior to bid time. Contractors should contact the Contract Specialist (not the Project Manager) assigned to the project (name appears in bid advertisement) to make their case. However once the project is bid no changes can be made.

Huey also said the County is more interested in people experience than company project experience. However lack of company experience was the primary reason used to reject an AGC members bid on a parking garage.

As public agencies continue to embrace the new legislation AGC members are asked to let staff know if they encounter difficulties. With that information AGC can assess what remedy if any it should pursue. Contact any of the AGC District Managers or the AGC Legislative Affairs office at 360-352-5000.

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