Authorizing agreement to supply Port with information
The Metropolitan King County Council today eliminated the need for small businesses throughout the region fill out two sets of applications if they want to work with the County and the Port of Seattle. The Council unanimously adopted a partnership agreement with the Port that will allow the County to certify small businesses to participate in both King County’s Contracting Opportunities Program and the Port’s small business program.
“Simplification of the contracting process is a high priority for supporting economic development and opportunities for small businesses, who can ill afford to use their limited resources on administrative paperwork,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Chair of the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. “Partnering with the Port will help small businesses compete for more contracts and contribute to employment and the economic recovery.”
“Small businesses will have more opportunities to compete for jobs through this agreement between King County and the Port,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “By streamlining these two certification programs, the County and Port will save on administration costs, and small businesses will save the hassle of preparing multiple applications.”
“One common standard, one common application, one common online directory - by partnering with the Port we are making it easier for small contractors and suppliers to work with us,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who highlighted the proposal in his State of the County speech last month. “Small businesses are the engine of long-term growth and job creation, and I thank the Council for its support of our ongoing procurement reforms.”
The County’s Contracting Opportunities Program (COP) has been in operation for seven years. The goal of COP is to ensure that a portion of King County’s business purchasing goods and services, consulting services and construction projects goes to small businesses. The Port of Seattle has a similar program, but it has not been in operation as long as the County’s program.
Since the goals of the two programs are similar, the County and the Port agreed that to simplify the process for small businesses, it would begin using a common application form and have one agency perform the certification services. Not only will this make it easier for small businesses to do business with the Port and King County by having a common application form, it will make it easier for the two governments to draw on a broader range and number of firms from a combined list.
Because the County’s COP is the older program, the Port agreed that COP will conduct the certification service, and will pay the County $13,000 a year to help defray the cost of the certification process.