Not every public works contract is worth millions of dollars...and legislatures across the country (including the U.S. Congress) is interested in giving some public work to small and/or minority contractors. An example of this public interest can be found in RCW 39.04.155, which establishes "small works roster contract procedures" for Washington counties. This statute authorizes counties to create a "roster" of qualifying small contractors. When a public works project fits the bill (is less than a certain amount of money), the county can submit the project to a contractor on the roster...as opposed to advertising the project and accepting bids. This statute gives counties the authority to create a small works roster - it does not required it. Relying on §39.04.155, King County has established a construction roster for small contractors. Thanks to Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog for pointing this out with his October 26th blog post: County Establishes Construction Roster for Small Contractors. The "Limited Public Works Roster" is explained on King County's website here. Here is a snippet that really explains how the roster will work in King County:
Public Works projects estimated to cost less than $35,000 may be awarded using the Limited Public Works Roster process in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington. These projects are not advertised in the newspaper. Instead where possible, a minimum of three contractors on the Roster are invited to bid for each project. These bidders are then rotated, so that all bidders in a trade category are invited to bid before any bidder receives a second invitation to bid.Do You Qualify? The first question to ask is whether your company qualifies as a small contractor to get on this roster. To be eligible for inclusion in the King County Limited Public Works Roster, a contractor must have either: (i) gross revenues under $250,000 annually as reported on their Federal Tax Returns; or (ii) gross revenues under $1,000,000 annually as reported on their Federal Tax Returns. So, what's the difference between companies with less than $250k revenue and those with less than $1m revenue? It's not entirely clear. As Mike Purdy explains:
It's unclear to me how the County intends to use these two categories, especially since there doesn't appear to be authority to restrict competition to contractors with revenues less than $250,000, but only to "encourage" these firms to submit bids.How Do You Get On The Roster? This is easy. You just provide all the information requested in the Limited Public Works Roster Application Form, which you can download from the King County website at this link.