(1) All public improvement contracts shall be based upon competitive bids except:
(a) Contracts made with qualified nonprofit agencies providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities under ORS 279.835 to 279.855.
(b) A public improvement contract exempt under subsection (2) of this section.
(c) A public improvement contract with a value of less than $5,000.
(d) A contract not to exceed $100,000 made under procedures for competitive quotes in ORS 279C.412 and 279C.414.
(e) Contracts for repair, maintenance, improvement or protection of property obtained by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs under ORS 407.135 and 407.145 (1).
(f) Energy savings performance contracts entered into in accordance with rules of procedure adopted under ORS 279A.065.
(2) Subject to subsection (4)(b) of this section, the Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, a local contract review board or, for contracts described in ORS 279A.050 (3)(b), the Director of Transportation may exempt a public improvement contract or a class of public improvement contracts from the competitive bidding requirements of subsection (1) of this section upon approval of the following findings submitted by the contracting agency or, if a state agency is not the contracting agency, the state agency seeking the exemption:
(a) It is unlikely that the exemption will encourage favoritism in the awarding of public improvement contracts or substantially diminish competition for public improvement contracts.
(b) The awarding of public improvement contracts under the exemption will likely result in substantial cost savings to the contracting agency, to the state agency based upon the justification and information described in ORS 279C.330 or, if the contracts are for public improvements described in ORS 279A.050 (3)(b), to the contracting agency or the public. In making the finding, the Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, the Director of Transportation or the local contract review board may consider the type, cost and amount of the contract, the number of persons available to bid and such other factors as may be deemed appropriate.
(c) As an alternative to the finding described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, when a contracting agency or state agency seeks an exemption that would allow the use of an alternate contracting method that the agency has not previously used, the agency may make a finding that identifies the project as a pilot project for which the agency intends to determine whether the use of the alternate contracting method actually results in substantial cost savings to the contracting agency, to the state agency or, if the contract is for a public improvement described in ORS 279A.050 (3)(b), to the contracting agency or the public. The agency shall include an analysis and conclusion regarding actual cost savings, if any, in the evaluation required under ORS 279C.355.
(3) In making findings to support an exemption for a class of public improvement contracts, the contracting agency or state agency shall clearly identify the class using the class’s defining characteristics. Those characteristics shall include some combination of project descriptions or locations, time periods, contract values, methods of procurement or other factors that distinguish the limited and related class of public improvement contracts from the agency’s overall construction program. The agency may not identify a class solely by funding source, such as a particular bond fund, or by the method of procurement, but shall identify the class using characteristics that reasonably relate to the exemption criteria set forth in subsection (2) of this section.
(4) In granting exemptions under subsection (2) of this section, the Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, the Director of Transportation or the local contract review board shall:
(a) When appropriate, direct the use of alternate contracting methods that take account of market realities and modern practices and are consistent with the public policy of encouraging competition.
(b) Require and approve or disapprove written findings by the contracting agency or state agency that support the awarding of a particular public improvement contract or a class of public improvement contracts, without the competitive bidding requirement of subsection (1) of this section. The findings must show that the exemption of a contract or class of contracts complies with the requirements of subsection (2) of this section.
(5)(a) Before final adoption of the findings required by subsection (2) of this section exempting a public improvement contract or a class of public improvement contracts from the requirement of competitive bidding, a contracting agency or state agency shall hold a public hearing.
(b) Notification of the public hearing shall be published in at least one trade newspaper of general statewide circulation a minimum of 14 days before the hearing.
(c) The notice shall state that the public hearing is for the purpose of taking comments on the draft findings for an exemption from the competitive bidding requirement. At the time of the notice, copies of the draft findings shall be made available to the public. At the option of the contracting agency or state agency, the notice may describe the process by which the findings are finally adopted and may indicate the opportunity for any further public comment.
(d) At the public hearing, the contracting agency or state agency shall offer an opportunity for any interested party to appear and present comment.
(e) If a contracting agency or state agency is required to act promptly due to circumstances beyond the agency’s control that do not constitute an emergency, notification of the public hearing may be published simultaneously with the agency’s solicitation of contractors for the alternative public contracting method, as long as responses to the solicitation are due at least five days after the meeting and approval of the findings.
(6) The purpose of an exemption is to exempt one or more public improvement contracts from competitive bidding requirements. The representations in and the accuracy of the findings, including any general description of the resulting public improvement contract, are the bases for approving the findings and granting the exception. The findings may describe anticipated features of the resulting public improvement contract, but the final parameters of the contract are those characteristics or specifics announced in the solicitation document.
(7) A public improvement contract awarded under the competitive bidding requirement of subsection (1) of this section may be amended only in accordance with rules adopted under ORS 279A.065.
(8) Public improvement contracts excepted from competitive bid requirements under subsection (1)(a), (c), (d), (e) or (f) of this section are not subject to the exemption requirements of subsection (2) of this section. [2003 c.794 §103; 2003 c.794 §§104,105a; 2005 c.103 §§12,13,14; 2005 c.625 §§58,59,60; 2007 c.70 §§69,70,71; 2007 c.764 §§14,15,17]Section: Previous 279C.300 279C.305 279C.310 279C.315 279C.320 279C.325 279C.330 279C.335 279C.340 279C.345 279C.350 279C.355 279C.360 279C.365 279C.370 Next
Last modified: August 7, 2008