2022 Public Contracting Rules Update

Carrie Connelly

From our Fall 2022 e-newsletter

Many of you have previously adopted our public contracting rule packet. As you know, our packet is based on the AG’s Model Rules, with changes that simplify and tailor those rules for our clients – plus add exemptions not available under the AG’s Rules. In the absence of locally adopted rules, your entity is governed solely by the AG’s Model Rules, which include state agency requirements not applicable to smaller, local governments. Over the years, we have recommended not only for your entity to adopt its own purchasing rules to replace the AG’s Model Rules, but to update them as required to accommodate legislative updates.

The 2021 legislature adopted several Oregon Public Contracting Code amendments. The AG is currently in the process of updating its model rules to reflect those legislative changes. Since the AG’s rules have yet to be issued, I have reviewed all statutory amendments and incorporated needed modifications into our public contracting rule packet. Pursuant to ORS 279A.065(6)(b), such a review is required for any entity which has adopted its own rules.

While some legislative amendments do not affect our clients, the following amendments authorize desirable updates:

1. The 2021 legislature increased the small procurement threshold for public improvement contracts from $5,000 to $10,000, which matches the threshold for goods and service contracts.

2. Public hearings are no longer necessarily required for public improvement contract exemptions. Rather, statewide published notice continues to be required, followed by a hearing only upon request.

3. For those of you who have not adopted rules since 2019, another helpful update allows your agency to use price information in architect/engineer consultant (i.e. Division 48) selection procedures.

As with our prior rule updates, we will provide an explanatory letter, updated rules, an adopting resolution, and accompanying findings for a flat fee. Entities which have adopted our public contracting rules since 2014 can update for $185, while those who have not previously purchased rules or updates since 2014 can purchase a full packet for $725.

Please contact Carrie Connelly (chc@localgovtlaw.com) or Kim Dahlgren (kimd@localgovtlaw.com) if your entity wishes to purchase a 2022 public contracting packet from our office.