Public Purchaser Questions


P-1. Find Statewide Contracts?

P-2. Verify a Vendor is on a Statewide Contract?

P-3. Enter a Vendor's Name to Locate Matching Contracts?

P-4. Conduct a Purchase using a Statewide Contract?

P-5. Locate Pricing and Terms on Statewide Contracts?

P-6. Confirm my organization's eligibility to purchase under Statewide Contracts?

P-7. Request Membership in the Purchasing Community?

P-8. Submit records for posting until training is complete?

P-9. Know what rules to follow if I use Comm-PASS to post my records?

Public Purchaser Answers


P-1. Find Statewide Contracts?

  • On the Comm-PASS home page, select the Contracts tab
  • Select the Search for Contracts link.
  • Enter criteria on the Specific Criteria section:
    a. Statewide Contract (check)
    b. Document Status "ACTIVE"
  • Select Search
  • Once the search is complete, Comm-PASS will display a results link at the top of the page.
  • Select the link to access the results.
  • Select the View icon (eyeglasses) to access specific record content.

To create a print-out of every active Statewide Contract Document Number:

  • Follow the previous steps and once the results display, print each page using your browser's print command or icon.
  • Generate a new list periodically to ensure you have the latest new contracts.

If you are a member of the Purchasing Community doc format of access.doc

  • Login to BuySmart
  • Access a statewide contract you frequently use; and,
  • Select the Track on My Desktop link above the record's upper-right corner.
    The next time you login to your Comm-PASS account, the record will be presented under "Items I'm Tracking" for instant access.

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P-2. Verify that a Vendor is authorized under a Statewide Contract?

If you have a BuySmart account:

  • Login and select the Reporting tab
  • Select Create a Contract Report
  • Select the Statewide Contract checkbox and the ACTIVE Document Status
  • Navigate to the bottom of the page and enter a single word in the Vendor Name field. For example, a company may be called W.B. Mason, but you can type in "Mason" to eliminate errors around spacing and punctuation.
  • Select Create Report

if the system returns a result, use the Search for a Contract tool to access the Contract Vendor(s) tab and confirm that the vendor is actually W.B. Mason and not Mason & Sons.

If you don't have a BuySmart account:

When vendors contact you, ask them for a three-letter, two-digit Statewide Contract Number. this is NOT a vendor number or a federal tax identification number.

If vendors cannot give you a valid contract number, it is unlikely they are authorized on a statewide contract.

If vendors give you the three-letter, two digit number, use the Search for a Contract tool

enter the SWC number into the Document Number field with no spaces

Select the Document status field to "ACTIVE"

Select Search

Select the results link at the top of the screen

Select the eyeglass icon to the right of the document title

Select the Vendor tab and search for the Vendor's name on the list to verify they have been awarded the contract.

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P-3. Enter a Vendor's name in Comm-PASS to locate matching Contracts?

This functionality is available exclusively through Reporting tools available to members of the Comm-PASS Purchasing Community doc format of access.doc

However the Comm-PASS Business Directory is available to anyone accessing the Comm-PASS site. It contains the names of all companies that subscribe to SmartBid. Visitors may search the directory by Company Name or Category of goods and services.

Listings include indicators of statewide status and links to matching Contract records.

Subscription alone does not confer authorized vendor status.

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P-4. Purchase from a Statewide Contract?

If you are from an executive department, contact your purchasing staff or CFO.

If you are an eligible public purchaser, print this handy Statewide Contracts Quick Tip pdf format of Quick Tips: Finding a Statewide Contract for...
document which offers detailed instruction for eligible entities seeking to purchase under Statewide Contracts.

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P-5. Locate Pricing and Terms on Statewide Contracts?

OSD policy requires that all Statewide Contracts provide pricing and terms on the Contract's Forms & Terms tab.

Contracts may also contain vendor-specific pricing and product information at the bottom of a Vendor's detail page available on the Vendor tab.

If you have difficulty locating or understanding information supplied in any Comm-PASS record, send an email to the person listed in the Contact Information area of the Issuers tab with copy to

While the Comm-PASS Helpdesk is not responsible for providing or interpreting content, we can help follow up with Issuers to ensure questions are answered in a timely manner.

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P-6 Confirm my organization's eligibility to purchase under Statewide Contracts?

To confirm your organization's eligibility on a contract-by-contract basis, review the list of provided on the Contract Issuer's tab.

If you are subject to M.G.L. c. 30B, be assured that you may purchase from statewide contracts in full compliance with the law, unless omitted form the list of Eligible Entities referenced above.

If your organization is not included in the list of eligible entities, contact OSD's Legal Bureau at

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P-7. Request Membership in the BuySmart Purchasing Community?

BuySmart membership allows public purchasing organizations to receive free training and free access to Comm-PASS document creation, posting, management and reporting tools.

Membership is not necessary in order to search for records, download files, or purchase from Statewide Contracts.

Requests to join the Comm-PASS Purchasing Communtiy must be submitted by a signatory authority within Massachusetts and specify a non-commercial email domain.

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P-8. Submit records for posting until training is complete?

Public purchasers who have requested membership in the BuySmart purchasing community and who are awaiting training are eligible for administered postings until training is completed.

You must submit files including the completed Posting Request Forms to the Comm-PASS Help Desk at for posting on Comm-PASS.

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P-9. Know what rules to follow if I use Comm-PASS to post my records?

Comm-PASS is a tool for public procurement professionals and as such, the system does not automatically enforce applicable procurement laws.

Each time they log into a site, BuySmart members accept the Buyer Terms of Use, which sets out rights and responsibilities for the Buyer and Operational Services Division, which runs the site,

In summary, the agreement specifies that:

Public purchasers agree and acknowledge that they are:

  • required to follow all applicable procurement, accessibility, public record and public safety laws, regulations, policies, and practices for their organization
  • responsible for compliance with the above
  • not exempt from any law, regulation, policy or practice simply by post on Comm-PASS
  • responsible for establishing appropriate access and controls associated with Comm-PASS use through system tools and sound business practices
  • required to restrict use of the Notification ferature to non-bidder email addresses

The Operational Services Division reserves the right to:

  • disable access for organizations that violate the agreement
  • remove records which violate laws, jeopardize system integrity (infected files) or are not in the best interest of the Commonwealth Comm-PASS policy doc format of NEW Comm-PASS Guidance ver4.0 with ARRA info
file size 4MB issued by the State Purchasing Agent is required for Executive Branch departments, those non-executive departments that have agreed to conduct procurement under 801 CMR 21.00, and all recipients of Commonwealth distributed federal stimulus funds, also known as American Revitalization and Recovery Act funds.

Other public organizations are welcome to review this document as a model for best practices when managing Comm-PASS records.

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