King County executive signs order to streamline procurement and business processes

The following is a press release from the King County executive's office.

Businesses interested in contracting with King County should find the process easier to navigate and more efficient under a new executive order signed today by King County Executive Dow Constantine to reform the county’s procurement and business processes.

“These reforms will provide greater contracting opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses,” Constantine said. “They will also simplify our procurement practices to make it easier for any business that wants to work with the county.”

Under the executive order, county agencies will set a goal of using small contractors and suppliers (SCS) for at least half of their direct voucher purchases and purchase orders under $5,000, if the option of those vendors is available.

Agencies must also strive to obtain at least one quote from a county-certified small business for purchases between $5,000 and $24,999.

The changes will strip away 14 pages of outmoded paperwork in the county’s standard contracting package, enhance the use of technology in procurement processes and make Requests for Proposals and Invitations to Bid more user-friendly.

The order, along with three pieces of companion legislation being sent to the King County Council, directs the county to expand its partnerships with other public agencies to provide information on upcoming public contracting opportunities, access to public procurement specialists and networking opportunities for prime contractors and subcontractors.

The order also establishes voluntary goals for using minority and women-owned businesses on county-owned construction projects and expands outreach efforts to prime and disadvantaged contractors for meeting participation goals on federally-funded projects.

The order emphasizes the use of new technologies to notify vendors of upcoming bid invitations, analyze county spending practices, eliminate purchasing inefficiencies, take advantage of supplier discounts, and develop cooperative purchasing agreements with other jurisdictions throughout the region to reduce the costs per unit and save taxpayer dollars.

The Executive Order takes effect immediately today, and staff in the county’s Finance and Business Operations Division are working with other county departments and agencies to implement the new policy. The related legislation must be approved by the King County Council.

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