70.150.030  <<  70.150.040 >>   70.150.050

RCW 70.150.040

Service agreements and related agreements—Procedural requirements.

The legislative authority of a public body may secure services by means of an agreement with a service provider. Such an agreement may obligate a service provider to perform one or more of the following services: Design, finance, construct, own, operate, or maintain water pollution control facilities by which services are provided to the public body. Service agreements and related agreements under this chapter shall be entered into in accordance with the following procedure:
(1) The legislative authority of the public body shall publish notice that it is seeking to secure certain specified services by means of entering into an agreement with a service provider. The notice shall be published in the official newspaper of the public body, or if there is no official newspaper then in a newspaper in general circulation within the boundaries of the public body, at least once each week for two consecutive weeks. The final notice shall appear not less than thirty days before the date for submission of proposals. The notice shall state (a) the nature of the services needed, (b) the location in the public body's offices where the requirements and standards for construction, operation, or maintenance of projects needed as part of the services are available for inspection, and (c) the final date for the submission of proposals. The legislative authority may undertake a prequalification process by the same procedure set forth in this subsection.
(2) The request for proposals shall (a) indicate the time and place responses are due, (b) include evaluation criteria to be considered in selecting a service provider, (c) specify minimum requirements or other limitations applying to selection, (d) insofar as practicable, set forth terms and provisions to be included in the service agreement, and (e) require the service provider to demonstrate in its proposal to the public body's satisfaction that it is in the public interest to enter into the service agreement and that the service agreement is financially sound and advantageous to the public body from the standpoint of annual costs, quality of services, experience of the provider, reduction of risk, and other factors.
(3) The criteria set forth in the request for proposals shall be those determined to be relevant by the legislative authority of the public body, which may include but shall not be limited to: The respondent's prior experience, including design, construction, or operation of other similar facilities; respondent's management capability, schedule availability, and financial resources; cost of the service; nature of facility design proposed by respondents; system reliability; performance standards required for the facilities; compatibility with existing service facilities operated by the public body or other providers of service to the public body; project performance warranties; penalty and other enforcement provisions; environmental protection measures to be used; and allocation of project risks. The legislative authority may designate persons or entities within or outside the public body (a) to assist it in issuing the request for proposals to ensure that proposals will be responsive to its needs, and (b) to assist it in evaluating the proposals received.
(4) After proposals under subsections (1) through (3) of this section have been received, the legislative authority or its designee shall determine, on the basis of its review of the proposals, whether one or more proposals have been received from respondents which are (a) determined to be qualified to provide the requested services, and (b) responsive to the notice and evaluation criteria, which shall include, but not be limited to, cost of services. These chosen respondents may, at the discretion of the public body, be aggregated into a short list of qualified respondents, who shall be referred to as the selected respondents in this section. The legislative authority or its designee shall conduct a bidder's conference to include all these selected respondents to assure a full understanding of the proposals. The bidder's conference shall make these selected respondents aware of any changes in the request for proposal. Any information related to revisions in the request for proposal shall be made available to all these selected respondents. Any selected respondent shall be accorded a reasonable opportunity for revision of its proposal prior to commencement of the negotiation provided in subsection (5) of this section, for the purpose of obtaining best and final proposals.
(5) After such conference is held, the legislative authority or its designee may negotiate with the selected respondent whose proposal it determines to be the most advantageous to the public body, considering the criteria set forth in the request for proposals. If negotiations are conducted by the designee, the legislative authority shall continue to oversee the negotiations and provide direction to its designee. If the negotiation is unsuccessful, the legislative authority may commence negotiations with any other selected respondent. On completion of this process, and after the department of ecology review and comments as provided for in subsection (9) of this section, and after public hearing as provided for in subsection (10) of this section, the legislative authority may approve a contract with its chosen respondent.
(6) Any person aggrieved by the legislative authority's approval of a contract may appeal the determination to an appeals board selected by the public body, which shall consist of not less than three persons determined by the legislative authority to be qualified for such purposes. Such board shall promptly hear and determine whether the public body entered into the agreement in accordance with this chapter and other applicable law. The board shall have the power only to affirm or void the agreement.
(7) Notwithstanding the foregoing, where contracting for design services by the public body is done separately from contracting for other services permitted under this chapter, the contracting for design services shall be done in accordance with chapter 39.80 RCW.
(8) If a public body elects to enter into an agreement whereby the service provider will own all or a portion of the water pollution control facilities it constructs, the service agreement shall include provision for an option by which a public body may acquire at fair market value facilities dedicated to such service.
(9) Before any service agreement is entered into by the public body, it shall be reviewed by the department of ecology to ensure consistency with the purposes of chapters 90.46 and 90.48 RCW.
The department of ecology has thirty days from receipt of the proposed service agreement to complete its review and provide the public body with comments. A review under this section is not intended to replace any additional permitting or regulatory reviews and approvals that may be required under other applicable laws.
(10) Prior to entering into any service agreement under this chapter, the public body must have made written findings, after holding a public hearing on the proposal, that it is in the public interest to enter into the service agreement and that the service agreement is financially sound and advantageous compared to other methods.
(11) Each service agreement shall include project performance bonds or other security by the service provider which in the judgment of the public body is sufficient to secure adequate performance by the service provider.
Effective date1989 c 175: See note following RCW 34.05.010.
Competitive bidsInapplicability to certain agreements: RCW 35.22.625 and 36.32.265.
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