wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > SB 5752 > Original Bill

SB 5752 - Procurement/jt. op. agencies


Section 1

Except as provided otherwise in this chapter, a joint operating agency shall purchase any item or items of materials, equipment, or supplies, the estimated cost of which is more than $30,000 exclusive of sales tax, or order work for construction of generating projects and associated facilities, the estimated cost of which is more than $50,000 exclusive of sales tax, by contract in accordance with RCW 54.04.070 and 54.04.080, which require sealed bids for contracts.

Section 2

An operating agency formed under RCW 43.52.360 shall have authority:

  1. To generate, produce, transmit, deliver, exchange, purchase or sell electric energy and to enter into contracts for any or all such purposes;

  2. To construct, condemn, purchase, lease, acquire, add to, extend, maintain, improve, operate, develop and regulate plants, works and facilities for the generation and/or transmission of electric energy, either within or without the state of Washington, and to take, condemn, purchase, lease and acquire any real or personal, public or private property, franchise and property rights, including but not limited to state, county and school lands and properties, for any of the purposes herein set forth and for any facilities or works necessary or convenient for use in the construction, maintenance or operation of any such works, plants and facilities; provided that an operating agency shall not be authorized to acquire by condemnation any plants, works and facilities owned and operated by any city or district, or by a privately owned public utility. An operating agency shall be authorized to contract for and to acquire by lease or purchase from the United States or any of its agencies, any plants, works or facilities for the generation and transmission of electricity and any real or personal property necessary or convenient for use in connection therewith;

  3. To negotiate and enter into contracts with the United States or any of its agencies, with any state or its agencies, with Canada or its agencies or with any district or city of this state, for the lease, purchase, construction, extension, betterment, acquisition, operation and maintenance of all or any part of any electric generating and transmission plants and reservoirs, works and facilities or rights necessary thereto, either within or without the state of Washington, and for the marketing of the energy produced therefrom. Such negotiations or contracts shall be carried on and concluded with due regard to the position and laws of the United States in respect to international agreements;

  4. To negotiate and enter into contracts for the purchase, sale, exchange, transmission or use of electric energy or falling water with any person, firm or corporation, including political subdivisions and agencies of any state, of Canada, or of the United States, at fair and nondiscriminating rates;

  5. To apply to the appropriate agencies of the state of Washington, the United States or any thereof, and to Canada and/or to any other proper agency for such permits, licenses or approvals as may be necessary, and to construct, maintain and operate works, plants and facilities in accordance with such licenses or permits, and to obtain, hold and use such licenses and permits in the same manner as any other person or operating unit;

  6. To establish rates for electric energy sold or transmitted by the operating agency. When any revenue bonds or warrants are outstanding the operating agency shall have the power and shall be required to establish and maintain and collect rates or charges for electric energy, falling water and other services sold, furnished or supplied by the operating agency which shall be fair and nondiscriminatory and adequate to provide revenues sufficient for the payment of the principal and interest on such bonds or warrants and all payments which the operating agency is obligated to set aside in any special fund or funds created for such purposes, and for the proper operation and maintenance of the public utility owned by the operating agency and all necessary repairs, replacements and renewals thereof;

  7. To act as agent for the purchase and sale at wholesale of electricity for any city or district whenever requested so to do by such city or district;

  8. To contract for and to construct, operate and maintain fishways, fish protective devices and facilities and hatcheries as necessary to preserve or compensate for projects operated by the operating agency;

  9. To construct, operate and maintain channels, locks, canals and other navigational, reclamation, flood control and fisheries facilities as may be necessary or incidental to the construction of any electric generating project, and to enter into agreements and contracts with any person, firm or corporation, including political subdivisions of any state, of Canada or the United States for such construction, operation and maintenance, and for the distribution and payment of the costs thereof;

  10. To employ legal, engineering and other professional services and fix the compensation of a managing director and such other employees as the operating agency may deem necessary to carry on its business, and to delegate to such manager or other employees such authority as the operating agency shall determine. Such manager and employees shall be appointed for an indefinite time and be removable at the will of the operating agency;

  11. To study, analyze and make reports concerning the development, utilization and integration of electric generating facilities and requirements within the state and without the state in that region which affects the electric resources of the state;

  12. To acquire any land bearing coal, uranium, geothermal, or other energy resources, within or without the state, or any rights therein, for the purpose of assuring a long-term, adequate supply of coal, uranium, geothermal, or other energy resources to supply its needs, both actual and prospective, for the generation of power and may make such contracts with respect to the extraction, sale, or disposal of such energy resources that it deems proper; and

  13. To perform work on behalf of public utility districts authorized by RCW 54.04.020 by having its own regularly employed personnel perform any function set forth in this section without the need for compliance with bidding or procurement statutes applicable to districts.

Section 3

  1. Any item, or items of the same kind of materials, equipment, or supplies purchased, the estimated cost of which is in excess of $30,000, exclusive of sales tax, shall be by contract. However, a district may make purchases of the same kind of items of materials, equipment, and supplies not exceeding $12,000 in any calendar month without a contract, purchasing any excess thereof over twelve thousand dollars by contract.

  2. Any work ordered by a district commission, the estimated cost of which is in excess of $50,000, exclusive of sales tax, shall be by contract. However, a district commission may have its own regularly employed personnel or those of a joint operating agency formed pursuant to chapter 43.52 RCW perform work which is an accepted industry practice under prudent utility management without a contract and without complying with bidding or procurement statutes applicable to districts. For purposes of this section, "prudent utility management" means performing work with regularly employed personnel utilizing material of a worth not exceeding $300,000 in value without a contract. This limit on the value of material being utilized in work being performed by regularly employed personnel shall not include the value of individual items of equipment. For the purposes of this section, the term "equipment" includes but is not limited to conductor, cabling, wire, pipe, or lines used for electrical, water, fiber optic, or telecommunications.

  3. Before awarding a contract required under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, the commission shall publish a notice once or more in a newspaper of general circulation in the district at least thirteen days before the last date upon which bids will be received, inviting sealed proposals for the work or materials. Plans and specifications for the work or materials shall at the time of publication be on file at the office of the district and subject to public inspection. Any published notice ordering work to be performed for the district shall be mailed at the time of publication to any established trade association which files a written request with the district to receive such notices. The commission may, at the same time and as part of the same notice, invite tenders for the work or materials upon plans and specifications to be submitted by the bidders.

  4. As an alternative to the competitive bidding requirements of this section and RCW 54.04.080, a district may let contracts using the small works roster process under RCW 39.04.155.

  5. Whenever equipment or materials required by a district are held by a governmental agency and are available for sale but such agency is unwilling to submit a proposal, the commission may ascertain the price of such items and file a statement of such price supported by the sworn affidavit of one member of the commission, and may consider such price as a bid without a deposit or bond.

  6. Pursuant to RCW 39.04.280, the commission may waive the competitive bidding requirements of this section and RCW 54.04.080 if an exemption contained within RCW 39.04.280 applies to the purchase or public work.

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    1. A district may procure public works with a unit priced contract under this section, RCW 54.04.080, or 54.04.085 for the purpose of completing anticipated types of work based on hourly rates or unit pricing for one or more categories of work or trades.

    2. For the purposes of this section, unit priced contract means a competitively bid contract in which public works are anticipated on a recurring basis to meet the business or operational needs of a district, under which the contractor agrees to a fixed period indefinite quantity delivery of work, at a defined unit price, for each category of work.

    3. Unit priced contracts must be executed for an initial contract term not to exceed three years, with the district having the option of extending or renewing the unit priced contract for one additional year.

    4. Invitations for unit price bids shall include, for purposes of the bid evaluation, estimated quantities of the anticipated types of work or trades, and specify how the district will issue or release work assignments, work orders, or task authorizations pursuant to a unit priced contract for projects, tasks, or other work based on the hourly rates or unit prices bid by the contractor. Where electrical facility construction or improvement work is anticipated, contractors on a unit priced contract shall comply with the requirements under RCW 54.04.085 (1) through (5). Contracts must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder as per RCW 39.04.010.

    5. Unit price contractors shall pay prevailing wages for all work that would otherwise be subject to the requirements of chapter 39.12 RCW. Prevailing wages for all work performed pursuant to each work order must be the prevailing wage rates in effect at the beginning date for each contract year. Unit priced contracts must have prevailing wage rates updated annually. Intents and affidavits for prevailing wages paid must be submitted annually for all work completed within the previous twelve-month period of the unit priced contract.

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