S-3574.2  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6528



State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senators Keiser, Eide and Costa


Read first time 01/21/2002.  Referred to Committee on State & Local Government.

Allowing governmental entities that award publicly funded contracts to select contractors using the lowest responsible bidder method.

    AN ACT Relating to the selection of responsible contractors bidding on public works; and adding a new chapter to Title 39 RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The purpose of this chapter is to allow all state or local governmental entities that award contracts for publicly funded projects to select contractors by the lowest responsible bidder method.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1) A state or local governmental entity that awards contracts for publicly funded projects must examine all bids to determine which contractors are the lowest responsible bidders.

    (2) The governmental entity must make an affirmative determination of responsibility.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  In determining lowest responsible bidder, in addition to price, the governmental entity awarding the contract must consider the following elements:

    (1) The ability, capacity, and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required;

    (2) The reputation and experience of the bidder;

    (3) Whether the bidder has demonstrated the ability to perform the contract within the time specified;

    (4) The quality of performance of previous contracts or services by the bidder;

    (5) The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with laws relating to the contract or services.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  Governmental entities may create their own questionnaire, or may use a questionnaire created by the Washington state department of general administration or the superintendent of public instruction to determine compliance with section 3 of this act.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  (1) The apparent low bidder must supply the requested information within two business days of the bid opening.  Failure to submit the information within the time provided will render the bid nonresponsible.  If the information that is provided is false on a material point, then the bid will be deemed nonresponsible.

    (2) All information submitted on the questionnaire is subject to public inspection.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  If the apparent low bidder is deemed not responsible, the governmental entity shall notify the bidder in writing.  Within three days of receipt of such notification, the bidder may withdraw its bid or request a hearing.  A hearing must be scheduled within three days of a bidder's request.  Hearing participants shall include a representative of the jurisdiction awarding the contract and a representative of the contractor and may include any interested parties as defined in RCW 39.12.010.  A final determination shall be issued after reviewing information presented at the hearing.  Both the governmental entity and the entity's contracting officer are immune from any suit or litigation brought on behalf of a bidder found not to be responsible.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  Sections 1 through 6 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 39 RCW.


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