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DES adopts proposed changes to public-works contracting rules

DES adopts proposed changes to public-works contracting rules – 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, to 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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