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Contractors now need to select contract type when filing prevailing-wage intents

Contractors now need to select contract type when filing prevailing wage intents

From the Department of Labor and Industries:

Prime contractors must now first select the contract type when starting a project within your Prevailing Wage Intent & Affidavit (PWIA) system. The contract type selected will determine the effective date for prevailing wage rates.

There are three contract types that rely on the Award Date as the effective date: 1) Design-Build, 2) General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM), and Job Order Contract (JOC). All other contracts rely on the Bid Due Date as the effective date, unless the Award Date is more than 6 months from the Bid Due Date. Keep scrolling to learn more about each contract type and its effective date.

Prime Contractors: Make sure you are aware of the contract type at the time of bid. This will make sure your bid includes the appropriate wage rates. Look up wage rates here.

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Contract Type Descriptions and Effective Dates

Bid-Build: Traditional contract type that is the majority of public works projects. An engineer/architect designs the project and the awarding agency uses a competitive process to bid the project and make an award to a contractor to construct the project.

Design-Build: The contractor designs and builds the item specified in the contract. This is typically a compressed schedule in which the design and build process has some overlap. The award date of the construction contract sets the wage effective date.

General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM): The contractor provides services during the design phase, and, if a Maximum Allowable Construction Cost or MACC is successfully negotiated, to provide general contractor and construction management services during the construction phase. Given the two steps for the contract award, GC/CM projects have two effective dates for wages. The design/pre-construction phase of the contract uses the award date for the original contract. The construction phase effective date is the date of the MACC’s negotiated contract agreement.

Job Order Contract (JOC): The contractor agrees to a fixed period, indefinite quantity delivery order contract which provides for the use of negotiated, definitive work orders for public works. Each work order is considered a separate project. The issue/award date of the work order sets the wage effective date.

Limited Public Works: An alternative process for projects less than $50,000 that allows the awarding agency to solicit and award an eligible project using the small works roster.

On-Call: May be referred to as Task-Order, Call-Out, Time and Materials, or Work-Order contracts. These are not specifically authorized in state law. An affidavit must be filed for each call-out.

Purchased Services: Services provided by vendors for routine, necessary, and continuing functions of an awarding agency, mostly relating to physical activities. These services are usually repetitive, routine, or mechanical in nature, support the agency’s day-to-day operations, involve the completion of specific tasks or projects, and involve minimal decision-making.

Small Works: A small works roster of qualified contractors who can bid is used to solicit and award an eligible project less than $350,000.

Unit-Priced Contract: Contracted when public works are anticipated on a recurring basis to meet the business or operational needs of the public entity. The contractor agrees to a fixed period indefinite quantity delivery of work, at a defined unit price, for each category of work. The beginning date for each contract year is the wage effective date and require annual wage updates with a new intent and affidavit for each contract year.

Comments or questions about Prevailing Wage? Call 360.902.5335 or email us at

Jim P. Christensen
Industrial Statistician and Program Manager
Prevailing Wage – Department of Labor and Industries

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