Public Contracting - Public Improvements and Related Contracts

ORS 279C.800
Definitions for ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870

As used in ORS 279C.800 (Definitions for ORS 279C.800 to 279C.870) to 279C.870 (Civil action to enforce payment of prevailing rates of wage):


“Fringe benefits” means:


Contributions that a contractor or subcontractor makes irrevocably to a trustee or to a third person under a plan, fund or program; and


Costs that a contractor or subcontractor may reasonably be anticipated to incur in providing the following items, except for items that federal, state or local law requires the contractor or subcontractor to provide:


Benefits to workers pursuant to an enforceable written commitment to the workers to carry out a financially responsible plan or program for:


Medical or hospital care;


Pensions on retirement or death; or
(iii) Compensation for injuries or illness that result from occupational activity;


Insurance to provide the benefits described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;


Unemployment benefits;


Life insurance;


Disability and sickness insurance or accident insurance;


Vacation and holiday pay;


Costs of apprenticeship or other similar programs; or


Other bona fide fringe benefits.


“Housing” has the meaning given that term in ORS 456.055 (Definitions for ORS 456.055 to 456.235).


“Locality” means the following district in which the public works, or the major portion of the public works, is to be performed:


District 1, composed of Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook Counties;


District 2, composed of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties;


District 3, composed of Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties;


District 4, composed of Benton, Lincoln and Linn Counties;


District 5, composed of Lane County;


District 6, composed of Douglas County;


District 7, composed of Coos and Curry Counties;


District 8, composed of Jackson and Josephine Counties;


District 9, composed of Hood River, Sherman and Wasco Counties;


District 10, composed of Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties;


District 11, composed of Klamath and Lake Counties;


District 12, composed of Gilliam, Grant, Morrow, Umatilla and Wheeler Counties;


District 13, composed of Baker, Union and Wallowa Counties; and


District 14, composed of Harney and Malheur Counties.


“Prevailing rate of wage” means the rate of hourly wage, including all fringe benefits, that the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries determines is paid in the locality to the majority of workers employed on projects of a similar character in the same trade or occupation.


“Public agency” means the State of Oregon or a political subdivision of the State of Oregon, or a county, city, district, authority, public corporation or public entity organized and existing under law or charter or an instrumentality of the county, city, district, authority, public corporation or public entity.


(a) “Public works” includes, but is not limited to:


Roads, highways, buildings, structures and improvements of all types, the construction, reconstruction, major renovation or painting of which is carried on or contracted for by any public agency to serve the public interest;


A project that uses $750,000 or more of funds of a public agency for constructing, reconstructing, painting or performing a major renovation on a road, highway, building, structure or improvement of any type;


A project that uses funds of a private entity for constructing a privately owned road, highway, building, structure or improvement of any type in which a public agency will use or occupy 25 percent or more of the square footage of the completed project;


Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 279C.810 (Exemptions) (2)(a), (b) and (c), a device, structure or mechanism, or a combination of devices, structures or mechanisms, that:


Uses solar radiation as a source for generating heat, cooling or electrical energy; and


Is constructed or installed, with or without using funds of a public agency, on land, premises, structures or buildings that a public body, as defined in ORS 174.109 (“Public body” defined), owns; or


Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(A) of this subsection and ORS 279C.810 (Exemptions) (2)(b) and (c), construction, reconstruction, painting or major renovation of a road, highway, building, structure or improvement of any type that occurs, with or without using funds of a public agency, on real property that a public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) owns.


“Public works” does not include:


Reconstructing or renovating privately owned property that a public agency leases; or


A private nonprofit entity’s renovation of publicly owned real property that is more than 75 years old if:


The real property is leased to the private nonprofit entity for more than 25 years;


Funds of a public agency used in the renovation do not exceed 15 percent of the total cost of the renovation; and
(iii) Contracts for the renovation were advertised or, if not advertised, were entered into before July 1, 2003, but the renovation has not been completed on or before July 13, 2007. [2003 c.794 §165; 2007 c.764 §34; 2010 c.45 §1; 2013 c.203 §1; 2015 c.482 §1; 2015 c.767 §81]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 279.348)

Where public agency sells property to private party for development consistent with agency objectives, but agency is not party to construction contract and makes no subsequent use of property, construction is not public work "contracted for" by public agency. Portland Development Commission v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, 216 Or App 72, 171 P3d 1012 (2007); State of Oregon v. City of Salem, 231 Or App 127, 219 P3d 32 (2009)

Where one building is public work, separately owned building that is designed to complement that public work and that shares certain components with that public work is not necessarily public work. State of Oregon v. City of Salem, 231 Or App 127, 219 P3d 32 (2009)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 279.348)

Employer contribution to industry advancement fund as fringe benefit under this section, (1980) Vol 41, p 162


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021