“A state Department of General Administration program now allows contractors to use the Internet to preview proposed public works projects. The program allows contractors to view bid packages electronically, cutting down on the time and paperwork involved in preparing responses.General Administration has worked with Builders’ Exchange, a plan center located in Everett, to develop the program. The agency is also making the bid packages available on compact disks, complete with all necessary software, for use on computers.The program is designed to encourage more competitive bids and reduce costs. General Administration annually puts out for bid about 300 state public works projects worth approximately $300 million. Ninety percent of the contracts are for $1.5 million or less.Contractors can view the bids with any type of personal computer. The program will install free software for viewing the contracts.Contractors will also be able to:- Zoom in and print or measure a specific portion of a bid package. A contractor could measure the square footage of carpet needed for a room and transfer the information to a software program that calculates the costs of a bid.- Check bid packages 24 hours a day, seven days a week.- Click on e-mail links to print shops that can copy bid package documents for distribution to subcontractors and suppliers.The state is hoping the program will increase the number of contractors who see bid packages for state public works projects by 50 to 300 percent. The increase in viewers of bid packages is expected to increase the chances for lower bids.State agencies that contract with General Administration to oversee their public works projects will also save money on printing costs for bid packages. The state plans to gradually phase out paper copies of the documents saving the agencies approximately $1 million during each two-year cycle of the state budget.To access the General Administration bid packages online visit the links section at www.tacomadailyindex.com.”
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