The Bremerton Housing Authority is required to withhold retainage on all construction contracts totaling $35,000 or more. If retainage is applicable, the percentage to be withheld will be specified in each individual contract.
Retainage is generally 5 or 10% of the total contract amount. This amount is withheld from payment to ensure that BHA and the state agencies have recourse if the contractor or subcontractor fail to meet an obligation. The state agencies have the right to request payment for any amounts owed up to and including the full amount of retainage withheld. Once the state agencies notify BHA in writing that the contractor and subcontractors have met all obligations, BHA is able to release retainage. Before releasing retainage, BHA will review the project to ensure that there are no unresolved issues with the project. If there are, BHA has the option to use the withheld amount to rectify those issues. If there are no issues, or BHA chooses not to use retainage to rectify what issues there are, retainage will be released to the Contractor who is then responsible for paying retainage out to its subcontractors.
It is the contractor's responsibility to ensure that all Intents to Pay Prevailing Wages and Affidavits of Wages Paid are filed with the Department of Labor & Industries. The Contractor and all subcontractors must file these forms. Delay in filing these forms will result in a delay of releasing retainage.
Once a project is accepted as final, BHA will complete a Notice of Completion form to be forwarded to the Department of Labor & Industries, the Employment Security Department, and the Department of Revenue. This form cannot be filed with any of the agencies until the intents and affidavits for the contractor and all subcontractors have been filed and approved. Once the form is filed with the three state agencies, BHA must wait to receive approval letters from each agency to release the retainage. Retainage will not be released until all three letters are received. If there are no issues, this process can take from six to eight weeks.
If there are any issues that need to be resolved for any of the three agencies, the release of retainage will not occur until the issues are resolved and the approval to release retainage has been received from all three agencies. Examples of issues that may be encountered is a tax audit conducted by the Department of Revenue or an issue with payment to employees found by L&I. The state agencies have the right to request payment from the retainage withheld by BHA to rectify issues that are found that the contractor or subcontractor refuses to rectify. BHA is required to comply with that request.