Contractors in construction looking to grow their business through public contracting must meet general contractor requirements and added construction criteria. Learn about those requirements, opportunities to increase workforce diversity, and how do find and compete for construction contracts.
Construction Contractor Board License
Oregon State First Tier Subcontractor Disclosure
Contractors are required to submit the Oregon State First Tier Subcontractors Disclosure form within two working hours after the date and time of the deadline when the bids are due as required by ORS 279C.370.
Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP) Safety Provisions
The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) are committed to safe construction work sites and public safety. All Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP) projects have to follow safety provisions laid out in the General Construction Safety Manual, with more exact safety requirements being defined in the contract. For more information, review the provisions in the PDF below.
Prime contractors are required to comply with all construction code regulations, which apply to all construction and most site development activity. For more information visit the City’s Development Services permit website.
Prequalification with the City of Portland is required of all prime contractors bidding on public improvement projects with an engineer’s estimate of $250,000 or greater, as specified in Portland City Code 5.34.510(A). Prequalification is guided by Administrative Rule 1.22.
Contractors interested in bidding as a prime on a City construction project that are not currently prequalified may use the new online prequalification application process on the Contract Compliance Reporting System.
Portland City Code states that contractors must demonstrate to the City’s satisfaction that they are a responsible offeror prior to bidding on public improvement projects. The City makes this determination through the Prequalification process, where contractors demonstrate that they meet the Standards of Responsibility pursuant to City Code 5.34.500.
A contractor may submit a request for Prequalification at any time by visiting the City of Portland Contract Compliance Reporting System to complete and submit the Prequalification Program Prime Contractor Application. The date on which all required information has been received by Procurement Services will be considered the receipt date of your prequalification application.
All applications will be evaluated and bidding limits will be determined by a Prequalification Board that meets approximately every two weeks. The application review and approval process can take up to 30 days to complete. Once prequalified, a contractor’s bidding limits are in effect for 2 years.
Bid Specific Prequalification or Increase Request
If you are currently prequalified with the City of Portland in one or more classes of work, and you are seeking prequalification to meet the requirements of a specific Invitation to Bid (ITB), visit the City of Portland's Contract Compliance Reporting System to complete the application. Please mark the box labeled "Bid Specific Request."
The deadline for receipt by the City is usually 10 calendar days prior to bid opening; however, it is important to review each set of bid documents to determine the specific requirement for that project.
There are some construction projects that require specific expertise, prior experience, special equipment, or are of high risk and are outside of the criteria necessary for prequalification in one of the City’s general classes of work. For these projects, a Special Prequalification application will be included in the bid documents. Contractors intending to be specially prequalified to bid on that project must complete the Special Prequalification application and submit it by the date and time stated within the solicitation.
See the pdf of the City of Portland's Construction Classes of Work Descriptions below.
Vendors are also required to pay a competitive wage on public works projects, as shown on the BOLI Prevailing Wage website.
Subcontractor Equity Program (SEP)
The Subcontractor Equity Program (SEP) requires that any city-owned construction projects and all city-sponsored projects valued at $150,000 or more include an aspirational goal that 20% of hard construction costs go towards COBID subcontractors. Of the 20%, 14% should go to Disadvantaged, Women, or Minority Business Enterprise contractors. The City encourages prime contractors to diversify their D/M/W/ESB/SDVBE subcontractor utilizationfor all available divisions of work. Prime contractors often use the State Directory of Certified Firms to find and contact potential subcontractors to use on the contract. Prime contractors will also be required to provide disclosure forms for first-tier subcontractors or sub consultants. The Subcontractor Equity Program (SEP) specification documents and forms are included in solicitation packages and are discussed at pre-bid meetings. Contractors are required to report on their continued utilization of D/M/W/ESB/SDVBE subcontractors throughout the life of the contract. See program details in the PDF below.
Workforce Training and Hiring Program (WFTH)
The goal of the Workforce Training & Hiring Program is to increase the numbers of women and minorities in the construction trades through apprenticeship opportunities on City of Portland projects. The Workforce Training & Hiring Program applies to city construction projects at $100,000 and above. The Program includes: a requirement that a minimum of 20% of the labor hours per trade are worked by state-registered apprentices; an 18% goal of minority participation; and a 9% goal for female participation. See how the City is doing by checking out our Workforce Hiring & Training Program Dashboard.
Details of program requirements are included in the bid document for each project. The Workforce Training & Hiring Program adheres to Administrative Rules 1.20.