Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How contractors can double-check whether the check is really in the mail

By Barbara LaBoe

No one likes hearing "the check's in the mail" when they're waiting for a payment.

We understand that prompt payment is important. That's why we've introduced a new online tool to help contractors and subcontractors track exactly what we've paid – and when – on many of our construction contracts.

The online Construction Contract Progress Payment Reporting System tool will be especially helpful for subcontractors, who sometimes wonder if they're being paid in a timely fashion because they're a step removed from the overall contract. Now, with a few mouse clicks they can see when the prime contractor was paid, which in turn starts the clock for their own payment deadline.

Delayed payment complaints from subcontractors are relatively rare – in nearly 8,000 payments during two construction seasons, we tallied 75 inquiries, 17 of which weren't quickly resolved. Any unnecessary delay is concerning and can be particularly difficult on small businesses or Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.

When larger companies hire certified minority- or women-owned DBEs, they help the state meet federal diversity requirements and move us closer to our goals for increasing economic opportunities for everyone. In those cases, we pay the main, or prime, contractor and then they're required to pay the subcontractor within 10 days of receiving payment. This new tool will let any subcontractor track all payments on a project, so they'll know exactly when their 10-day payment window starts. That helps eliminate confusion and helps clarify who to call about any questions.

The new tool gives contractors – and anyone else – an extra layer of transparency and a quicker way to double check payment information. We hope this helps answer questions as well help quickly resolve any payment concerns. For more details on the subcontractor payment process, check out this brochure.

Interested in bidding on upcoming WSDOT projects? Stop by the Connecting Washington Open House to learn about upcoming projects and program opportunities for the next six years.
  • When: Jan. 21, 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Where: Hilton Bellevue, SkyView Ballroom, 300 112th Ave, SE, Bellevue, WA 98004
  • RSVP: Please RSVP for planning purposes
  • Questions: connectingwaopenhouse@wsdot.wa.gov