Port of Olympia Request For Proposals For Hearing Examiner

Purpose

The Port of Olympia (Port) is soliciting proposals from individuals and firms interested in serving as the Port of Olympia Hearing Examiner.

Background

The Port seeking persons or firms with experience and expertise in SEPA and SEPA appeals to serve as the Port Hearing Examiner to hear administrative appeals under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

The Port serves as lead agency for project and non-project proposals that the Port pursues.  The Port SEPA Policy provides for administrative appeals to a Hearings Examiner of Port SEPA decisions, including threshold determinations and Final Environmental Impact Statements.

The Port’s SEPA policy empowers the Hearing Examiner to set general procedural rules for the conduct of hearings, prehearing conferences, the submittal of materials and exhibits, the disclosure of evidence and the presentation of evidence.  The Hearing Examiner will be expected to expeditiously schedule appeal processes and to render decisions on appeals.  The Port does not issue permits, so the Port Hearing Examiner will deal exclusively with appeals of Port SEPA decisions.

Scope of Work

Services to be provided include those detailed in Section 9 of the Port SEPA Policy (Resolution 2015-12), and include holding hearings and deciding matters related to the Port’s implementation of its responsibilities under SEPA (Chapter 43.21C of the Revised Code of Washington), the State SEPA rules (Chapter 197-11 of the Washington Administrative Code), and the Port SEPA Policy.

Preliminary Schedule Milestones

Issuance of RFP: November 10, 2015
Proposals due: December 4, 2015
Interviews (if required): Week of December 14, 2015
Selection of Consultant: December 21, 2016 (tentative)
Port Commission Action on Contract: January 11, 2016 (tentative)
Execute Contract: January 12, 2016 (tentative)

Port Representative

Alex Smith
Environmental Programs Director
360-528-8020
alexs@portolympia.com 

 

Selection Criteria

Submittals will be evaluated and ranked based on the following:

  1. Proposed costs. Include hourly rate(s) and all anticipated incidental costs.
  2. Knowledge and experience in:
    • Adjudication or litigation related to the State Environmental Policy Act
    • Administrative law and procedures
    • Constitutional principles
    • Adjudication or litigation related to land use and development permitting
  3. Experience writing legally defensible SEPA and land use decisions
  4. Experience with case scheduling and management
  5. Making effective use of public resources
  6. Experience holding public hearings and overseeing quasi-judicial processes

Selection Process

The anticipated selection process is as follows:

  1. A panel will review the qualifications submitted.
  2. The panel may request additional information from one or all who respond.
  3. Interviews may be scheduled with one or more respondents.
  4. The selected person or firm will be invited to enter into contract negotiations with the Port.

Submittal Content

Interested persons or firms should submit the following:

  1. Letter of Interest: no more than one page in length, which includes contact information and signature.  The letter or an attachment to the letter should include all proposed rates and charges.
  2. Summary of qualifications, experience and availability:  no more than four pages in length, summarizing the applicant’s qualifications to be a hearings examiner, his or her relevant experience, and the availability of the applicant to provide services to the Port.
  3. Proposed Costs, including hourly rate(s) and all anticipated itemized incidentals.
  4. Method and approach: one or two pages summarizing the applicant’s approach to providing hearing examiner services.
  5. Example of written work: at least two examples of the applicant’s written decisions must be provided.
  1. Example rules of procedure: The Port’s Hearing Examiner is empowered to adopt rules of procedure.  Applicants should submit an example of such rules of procedure that the Hearings Examiner has previously used.
  2. Professional references: at least two relevant professional references, including phone numbers and other contact information.

Submittals must be received on or before the specified time and date below.

All submittals are due by 4:00 p.m., December 4, 2015, addressed to:

Port of Olympia
Attention:  Alex Smith (alexs@portolympia.com)
606 Columbia Street NW, Suite 300
Olympia, WA 98501

(360) 528-8020

 

Equal Employment Opportunity and Training

It is the policy of the Port to ensure that applicants are employed and are treated during employment, without regard to their race, religion, sex, color, national origin, or disability. Such action shall include the following: employment upgrading, demotion, or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship, preapprenticeship, and/or on-the-job training.

The Port of Olympia encourages disadvantaged, minority, and women owned consultant firms to apply.

Disclosure

All information submitted shall become the property of the Port and is subject to the public disclosure laws of the state of Washington.  The potential Hearings Examiner should identify any portions of the information submitted he or she deems exempt from public disclosure requirements.

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