The Washington state legislature recently (April 2016) passed legislation (Substitute House Bill 2427) eliminating some of the roadblocks to conducting online bidding. The text of the bill can be viewed here.
With changes to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) in Section 19.360.020, “… an electronic signature may be used with the same force and effect as the use of a signature affixed by hand.” This modification removes a key impediment to receiving bids electronically.
The bill also adds language in RCW Section 19.360.050 that allows use of electronic communications in place of traditional mail: “… the term [mail] includes the use of mail delivered through an electronic system such as email …” This change opens the door to more efficient use of email in support of procurement processes, such as bid notifications, addenda notifications, award letters, and other procurement-related correspondence.
Specific implementing policies and procedures are left to each state and local agency.
For additional information on the definition of electronic signatures and a comparison to digital signature technology, be sure to read our previous blog on Electronic Signatures in Procurement.
With over a decade of experience in providing electronic signature and bidding solutions to state and local agencies, ProcureWare is ready to serve Washington state agencies as they realize the benefits of electronic bidding. Please contact us at +1 206-855-8430 if you have any questions or visit us at www.procureware.com to learn more and schedule a demonstration of ProcureWare.