Effective Date:  December 13, 2005
Issued Date: June 9, 1998
Revised Date: December 13, 2005
Reissued Date: December 13, 2005
Policy No.: PBD-003
Adopted: December 13, 2005

SUBJECT: Procurement Policy (download PDF here)


It shall be C-TRAN’s policy to secure all goods and services in an open manner that permits, wherever possible, the agency to receive the best value of  public funds. To this end, this procurement policy has been prepared to give direction to the appropriate employees.


   1.1    Code of Ethics

No C-TRAN employee, officer,  agent, or any member of his/her immediate family  shall receive any benefit, gratuity or reward, directly or indirectly, from  any C-TRAN contract.  This restriction applies to partners of C-TRAN employees or to organizations to which they may belong. The following services and purchasing activities are exempted from this restriction:

  • Electrical, water, or other utility services by a municipality engaged in the business of providing such services at the same rates and on the same terms as are available to the general public.
  • A publication of legal notices required by law to be published by C-TRAN, upon competitive bidding  at rates not higher than prescribed by law for members of the general public.

A C-TRAN employee or officer shall not be considered a beneficiary of a contract if he/she has only a remote interest in the contract. The extent of such interest shall be disclosed to the Board of Directors and noted in the official minutes. This disclosure shall occur prior to the formation of the contract. The Board shall then ratify the contract in good faith by a vote sufficient to accept the contract. Any agent of C-TRAN that has remote interest in any contract shall not vote on the ratification of the contract.
As used in this section, “remote interest” means:

  • That of a non-salaried officer of a non-profit corporation.
  • That of contracting party’s employee or agent where the compensation of such employee or agent is fixed wages or salary.
  • That of a landlord or tenant of a contracting party.
  • That of a holder of less than 1 percent of the shares of a corporation or cooperative, which is the contracting party.

If any interested party in a contract attempts to influence any  officer or employee of C-TRAN, the procurement shall be canceled.

Any contract made in violation of this section shall be void and cannot, in any way, be the basis of claim against C-TRAN. Any officer or employee violating the provisions of this section shall be liable to C-TRAN, and possibly subject to other penalties as may otherwise be imposed upon him/her by law.

In addition to all other penalties, civil or criminal, the violation by any C-TRAN officer or employee of the provisions of this section shall cause forfeiture of his/her office or employment.

No C-TRAN employee, officer, or agent shall solicit or accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors, or parties to sub-agreements. In compliance with RCW 42.52.150, the following unsolicited gifts may be accepted by C-TRAN employees:

  • advertising or promotional items of nominal value, such as pens, calendars, and note pads
  • unsolicited flowers, plants and floral arrangements that are left to decorate the agency’s office
  • food and beverages consumed at a hosted meeting or reception where the attendance is related to the employee’s position at C-TRAN

Organizational conflicts of interest, both real and apparent, shall be avoided to the maximum extent possible. An organizational conflict of interest exists when the nature of the work to be performed under a proposed contract may, without some restriction on future activities, result in an unfair competitive advantage to the contractor or impair the contractor’s objectivity in performing the contract work.

   1.2    Enforcement

Each Department Director shall be responsible for procurements made for his/her department and ensure all purchases  are made in accordance with this policy, state laws and federal regulations. The Controller shall monitor C-TRAN procurement policies to enforce compliance with regulations. In the case of an irresolvable dispute between a Department Director and the Controller, the Executive Director/CEO shall make the final determination.

   1.3    Planning

It is the responsibility of the consumer or designated Department Director to ensure  there exists sufficient unexpended budget remaining to make the contemplated purchase. Furthermore, it is the Department Director’s responsibility to determine that all procurements are required to meet only C-TRAN’s needs and to avoid the purchase of unnecessary or duplicative items. The Department Director shall give consideration to  consolidation or  breaking out items to obtain a more economical purchase.

Where appropriate, an analysis shall be made of a lease vs. purchase alternative and any other appropriate analysis, such as, delivery costs, after-market support and service, travel and per diem costs for out of area consultants, etc., to determine which approach would be the most economical and provide the greatest return value to C-TRAN.

To foster greater economy and efficiency, Department Directors are encouraged to enter into state and local intergovernmental agreements, whenever they are available, for the procurement of common goods and services. Department Directors are also encouraged to evaluate the feasibility and project cost impacts of using federal excess and surplus property in lieu of purchasing new equipment and property.

   1.4    Contracting With Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Firms

In accordance with C-TRAN's DBE Plan, it is C-TRAN's policy to award a fair share of its procurements to women and minority owned business firms. Therefore, when procuring goods and services, Department Directors should refer to and follow this plan and ensure  the prime contractor, if any subcontracts are under consideration, shall solicit and encourage DBE participation in the contract. Current and up-to-date lists of federally certified women and minority firms are available on the states of Washington and Oregon Web sites. These lists should be accessed to determine what firms provide the services or products required by C-TRAN and to ensure that C-TRAN attempts to meet its own DBE Plan and established goals.

   1.5    Contract Awards

Contracts will be awarded only to responsible contractors possessing the ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of a proposed procurement. Consideration will be given to contractor integrity, compliance with public policy, record of past performance, and financial and technical resources. Time and material contracts shall be used only after a determination that no other type of contract is suitable. In the use of time and material contracts, a ceiling price shall be established before contract award. Once the ceiling price has been reached, the contractor shall then proceed at his/her own risk.

When contracting for tangible goods, the contract shall limit option quantities for additional equipment and supplies to not more than 50 percent of the initial quantity of the same contract line item. For professional services and requirements contracts, the total of the base and option time periods shall not exceed five  years.

   1.6    Federal Regulations

When procuring items funded by federal grants, procurement officers shall review and follow the provisions of 49 CFR Part 18, “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments;” Section 36, “Procurement;” and Federal Transit Administration Circular 4220.1F, “Third Party Contracting Guidelines,” as amended.

   1.7    Cooperative Purchasing (RCW 39.34.03)

In procurements where it may be advantageous for C-TRAN to purchase goods and services in cooperation with other public agencies or purchasing cooperatives, the requirement for bid solicitation notice in the newspaper of general circulation shall be fulfilled with the posting of the Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposals on a Web site. The Web site shall be any state or local Web site established and maintained by a public agency, purchasing cooperative, or a similar service provider. The posting shall be for the sole purpose of public notice for bids or proposal solicitations. The awarding agency may also fulfill this requirement by providing an access link from the state’s Web portal to the public notice of solicitation.

   1.8    Local Geographical Preference

C-TRAN will conduct procurements in a manner that prohibits the use of in-state or local geographical purchase preferences which serve to restrict full and open competition, except in those cases where applicable federal or state statues expressly mandate or encourage geographic preference. This does not preempt state licensing laws. When employing the qualifications - based method for contracting for architectural and engineering services, geographic location may be a selection criteria provided its application leaves an appropriate number of qualified firms, given the nature and size of the project, to compete for the contract.

Local suppliers are encouraged to participate in C-TRAN’s procurement activities. In addition to meeting the required specifications with the lowest cost, C-TRAN seeks the supplier that can provide the best delivery of services and timely after-market support.

   1.9    Payment

Advance funding payments made to a contractor, prior to the incurrence of costs by the contractor, shall be prohibited. Progress payments made to a contractor while work is being performed by the contractor shall be allowed, as authorized by the Project Manager in consultation with the appropriate Department Director.


   2.1    Services Covered

Services covered under this policy include all professional, technical, contract maintenance, custodial, security, and printing except:

  1. Audit services provided under the authority of the Washington State Auditor’s Office;
  2. Repair services provided by or through the manufacturer or manufacturer’s authorized service dealer;
  3. Public works (See Section 3); and
  4. Architectural and engineering (see Section 4).

   2.2    Cost Over $25,000

Applicable services covered in Part 2.1,  materials, and equipment, the cost of which exceeds $25,000 without sales tax, shall be procured by competitive bid or negotiated proposal process, whichever method lends itself to the most beneficial acquisition. The Procurement Officer should follow the  steps listed below:

  1. Work with the Project Manager to develop specifications for the materials or services sought;
  2. If the services and goods are not in the approved budget, request approval from the C-TRAN Board of Directors to call for bids;
  3. Advertise for all solicitation requests in at least one newspaper of general circulation once each week for two consecutive weeks before the date fixed for opening of the bids;
  4. Conduct a public bid opening at the date and time specified; proposals are opened privately and reviewed by a selected evaluation committee;
  5. Review the bids or conduct the proposal evaluation process and, working with the Project Manager, determine the lowest bid from a responsible and responsive bidder or the most qualified consultant to provide the required services;
  6. Prepare a staff report requesting the Board of Directors to award the contract to the recommended product or service provider;
  7. Once approved by the Board of Directors, prepare and execute a purchase order or contract to the successful contractor; and
  8. When services, materials, and equipment have been received, inspected, and found to be satisfactory, the Department Director shall approve payment.

   2.3    Equipment Over $5,000, But Less Than $25,000

Equipment having a useful life of more than one year and having a cost in excess of $5,000 shall be procured after receiving at least three competitive quotes. These quotes may be obtained by telephone and documented or may be in written form. After receiving  at least three quotes, the Procurement Officer may award a contract or issue the purchase order to the lowest responsive quote. The quotes received are public records and shall be maintained with the purchase order or contract, per the Washington State retention schedule.

   2.4    All Other Items

The Procurement Officer shall be given sufficient price data with the purchase requisition to verify that C‑TRAN is receiving the best price for the required items and then follow steps 7 and 8 of Part 2.2.

   2.5    United States Government, State of Washington, or Political Subdivisions

Services, materials, and equipment may be purchased from the United States Government or any agency of the state of Washington or political subdivision without the necessity to require sealed bids, if the purchase is found to be in the best interest and at a favorable price to C-TRAN.


   3.1    Public Works Defined

Public works is by law, a lien or charge on any public property. The term “public works” shall include all work, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement executed at the cost of C-TRAN, regardless of the cost of the work. This work can include even minor repairs if not of a general maintenance nature. Public works, therefore, can incur very nominal costs; however, they are still considered public works from the first dollar. C-TRAN shall conduct all public works projects in compliance with RCW 39.04 for construction projects that are partially funded with federal grants, additional requirements regarding federal prevailing wages, and the Davis-Bacon Act shall be followed.

   3.2   Public Works Performed by C-TRAN Employees

Whenever the Procurement Officer shall determine that any public work is necessary to be done, if the estimated cost of the work is more than $25,000 (RCW 39.04.02) and if it will be completed by C-TRAN employees, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. Plans and/or specifications and an estimate of the cost of the work shall be a Staff Report presented to the C-TRAN Board of Directors of C-TRAN for approval.
  2. At least 15 days before the beginning of the work, the Procurement Officer shall publish the estimate, together with the description of the work, in at least one legal newspaper of general circulation. The publication shall be in, or as near as possible, to that part of the county in which such work is to be done. When the Executive Director/CEO has declared the work an emergency and requires immediate execution, publication of the description and estimate may be done within seven days after commencement of the work.

    In the event that it is necessary to change the plans, and specifications change the cost of the project, a supplemental estimate shall be made. The supplemental plans and specifications showing the cost increase or decrease will be presented to the Board of Directors via a Staff Report. Estimates shall show  the following in detail:
    • cost of the work
    • quantities of each class of work
    • unit cost of each class of work
    • total cost for each class of work
    • time limit allowed for completion of the work 
    • dates for commencement and completion of the project

These estimates shall show in detail the estimated total cost of labor, material, provisions, supplies, equipment rentals, equipment purchases, industrial insurance, medical aid, superintendents, engineering, clerical and accounting service, the value of use of equipment owned by C-TRAN, and other estimated expenses in connection with such work. Supplemental estimates shall show the estimated increase or decrease in  the total cost of the work as shown by the original estimate together with any change in the time limit and the estimated dates commencing and completing the work.

Detailed records shall be maintained for the actual cost of the work performed by C-TRAN employees. A certified copy of the detail shall be filed with the Board of Directors within 60 days after completion of the work. Within 30 days after filing the final account or record of the cost of the work, and the cost of the work exceeds $25,000 (RCW 39.04.02), a true copy of work detail, together with the general description of the work, will be published at least once in the same newspaper or publication in which the original estimate was published. All plans, specifications, estimates, copies of accounts or records, and all certificates attached  when filed become public records and shall, at all reasonable times, be subject to public inspection.

    3.3    Public Works by Contract

If the estimated cost of performing  public works exceeds $25,000, is not in the annual approved budget, and will need to be completed by an outside contractor, the Procurement Officer will request the Board of Directors to approve calling for bids. If the anticipated work has been included in the annual budget, the Board of Directors need only be notified on the publication of the bid solicitation. Once a call for bids has received proper approval, the Procurement Officer will adhere to the following procedure:

  • A notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two weeks prior to the date set for bid opening. Such notice shall state the work to be done and shall call for sealed bids for doing the required work.
  • An opening date and specific hour for public opening shall be included in the advertisement.
  • Each bid shall be accompanied by a certified or cashier’s check or postal money order payable to the order of C-TRAN for a sum not less than 5 percent of the amount of the bid. A bid bond in an amount not less than 5 percent of the bid with corporate surety licensed to do business in the state of Washington is acceptable in lieu of the cash deposit. No bid shall be considered unless accompanied by such check, cash, or bid bond.
  • At the time and place named, the bids shall be publicly opened and read aloud.
  • The Procurement Officer shall determine the lowest responsible and responsive bid and recommend to the Board of Directors a contract be awarded to such bidder. However, if no bid is found to be satisfactory, the Board may reject bids and re-advertise. In this case, all checks, cash, or bid bonds shall be returned to the bidders.

Once a contract is approved by the Board, then the checks, cash, or bid bonds shall be returned to the unsuccessful bidders. The successful contractor’s check, cash, or bid bond shall be retained until a contract has been fully executed and the contractor has begun performance of the public work. Before beginning work on the project, a performance bond shall be furnished with sureties satisfactory to the Board. The performance bond shall be in the full amount of the contract price between the bidder and the Board. If the bidder fails to enter into the contract in accordance with the bid and furnish a performance bond within ten days from the date of which the contractor is notified that they are the successful bidder, then such check, cash, or bid bonds shall be forfeited to C-TRAN. In this case, the contract may be awarded to the next lowest responsible and responsive bidder or may be re-advertised, at C-TRAN’s option.

If the bidder fails to enter into a contract in accordance with the bid and the Board deems it necessary to take legal action to collect on any bid bond therein, then C‑TRAN shall be entitled to collect from said bidder any legal expenses including reasonable attorney fees incurred.

Contractor’s Bond - Prior to issuing a notice to proceed to the successful bidder, C‑TRAN shall require a 100 percent performance bond with two or more sureties, that the contractor shall faithfully perform all provisions of such contract. The performance bond shall also ensure that the contractor shall pay all laborers, mechanics, sub-contractors, and material providers.. All persons who supply such persons or sub-contractors with provisions and supplies for the carrying out of such work shall also be assured of payment. This performance bond shall be filed with the Controller of C‑TRAN.

Alternatively, on contracts of $25,000 or less, at the option of the contractor, C-TRAN may, in lieu of the bond, retain 50 percent of the contract amount for a period of 30 days after the date of final acceptance or until receipt of release from the Department of Revenue and settlement of any liens filed under Chapter 60.28 RCW, whichever is later.

Retainage - Unless otherwise specified in the grant agreement, there shall be retained 5 percent, excluding sales tax, from each contract’s progress payments. This retained amount shall be used for payment of any liens filed for labor, materials, or taxes. The contractor may request (RCW 60.28.011) that the retainage be reduced to 100 percent of the value of the work remaining on the project. Thirty days after completion and acceptance of all contract work, C‑TRAN may release and pay in full the amounts retained during the performance of the contract. The retainage may, at the option of the contractor, be retained by C‑TRAN in its funds until 30 days following acceptance of the project, or deposited by C-TRAN into an interest bearing account of any bank, mutual savings bank, or savings and loan association. The contractor shall receive any interest earned. The funds may be placed in escrow with the bank or trust company by C-TRAN until 30 days following the acceptance of public work. Any interest earned shall be paid to the contractor. In lieu of retaining 5 percent, the contractor may submit a bond for all or any portion of the retainage with the consent of C-TRAN.

After completion of the contract, the Manager of Accounting Services shall give notice to the Department of Revenue that the contract is complete. Any retainage or bond will not be released until the Department of Revenue has issued a release and notified C-TRAN that all taxes, increases, and penalties due from the contractor have been paid in full or they are, in the Department’s opinion, readily collectable without recourse to the state’s lien on the retained percentage. C-TRAN shall certify that all worker’s compensation premiums have been paid to the Department of Labor and Industries before releasing any retainer or bonds.


   4.1    Notice

When professional architectural and engineering services are required by C-TRAN, the Procurement Officer shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation once each week for two consecutive weeks stating the general scope and nature of the project or work for which services are required.

C-TRAN will encourage firms engaged in the lawful practice of their professions to submit a statement of qualifications to perform the proposed project as described in the advertisement.

C-TRAN will ensure that minority and women-owned firms are afforded the maximum practical opportunity to compete for and obtain contracts for services consistent with their general availability within the professional communities involved.

   4.2    Review

The statements of qualifications submitted in accordance with the published advertisement, along with any others on file with the agency, shall be reviewed by the Procurement Officer. Discussions shall be held with one or more of the most qualified  firms regarding the anticipated project and the relative utility of alternative methods of approach for furnishing the required services.

   4.3    Negotiation

Once the most qualified firm is determined, the Procurement Officer shall negotiate a contract with the most qualified firm for architectural and engineering services at a price it determines is fair and reasonable to the agency. In making its determination, C-TRAN shall take into account the estimated value of the services to be rendered as well as the scope, complexity, and professional nature thereof. If C-TRAN is unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the firm selected at a price C-TRAN determines to be fair and reasonable, negotiations with that firm shall be formally terminated and another firm selected in accordance with the above procedure.

   4.4    Board Approval

After these negotiations, the firm deemed the most highly qualified will be selected and recommended to the Board as the chosen architect or engineer for the project.

    4.5    Value Engineering

Value engineering is a systematic and creative analysis of each contract item or task to ensure that its essential function is provided at the overall lowest cost. Consideration shall be given to the use of value engineering clauses in contracts for construction projects of sufficient size to offer reasonable opportunities for cost reductions.


In the event of an emergency when the public interest or property of C-TRAN would suffer material injury or damage by delay, the Executive Director/CEO may, in writing, waive provisions of this procurement policy, subject to grantor agency approval if required, provided that this finding of emergency shall be confirmed by the Board of Directors at its next scheduled meeting.


Whenever it appears there is one source from which to obtain any equipment or service required by C-TRAN, the reasons for this sole source must be well justified and thoroughly documented.

The sole source procurement is allowable only when at least one of the following circumstances apply to the requirement:

  1. The item is available only from one single source.
  2. A sufficient emergency exists for the requirement that it will not permit the delay of competitive solicitation.
  3. After solicitation of a number of sources, competition has been proven inadequate.
  4. The item is associated with a capital maintenance item that must be procured directly from the original manufacturer or supplier.


The Procurement Officer shall maintain records sufficient to detail the significant history of a procurement. These records will include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The rationale for the method of procurement;
  2. The selection of contract type;
  3. The rationale for contractor selection or rejection;
  4. The basis for the contract price;
  5. The bid or proposal tabulation worksheet;
  6. All documented communication with potential contractors, prior to the bid opening date;
  7. Advertising affidavits of publication;
  8. Bidders lists, with names, addresses, and telephone numbers; and
  9. All bids or proposals received.

POLICIES:PBD-003 Procurement Policy rev final

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