MassGIS' Guide to GIS Service Providers on Two State Master Services Agreements

There are two state Master Service Agreements (MSAs) through which any political subdivision (this includes cities and towns) of the Commonwealth can procure GIS consulting services.  The two MSAs are ITS43TechSpec (“technical specialists”) and ITS43SolProv (“solution providers”).  The difference between these two MSAs is based on gross annual revenues of the service providers.   Thus technical specialists are smaller and solution providers are larger firms.  As these distinctions don’t mean much for the sorts of GIS services typically sought in Massachusetts, the types of services that can be sought through these contracts are identical.  Also, as there is overlap between these two MSAs in the gross annual revenue figures, one company is listed on both contracts.  Note that GIS services are a sub-category of service providers under both of these contracts; other sub-categories of IT services (for example software and systems development, systems integration and networking, and security) can also be procured through these contracts.  Below is more information about:

How MSAs are Established 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through its’ Operation Services Division (OSD), creates MSAs (also known informally as “state blanket contracts”).  OSD is the state’s procurement agency.  MSAs result from a competitive procurement conducted by procurement teams usually lead by OSD staff.  These teams typically consist of employees of state and local government agencies.  OSD may also designate other agencies to conduct such procurements on their behalf.  Any political subdivision of the Commonwealth may, unless the MSA specifically says otherwise, procure eligible goods and services through MSAs.

What are ITS43TechSpec and ITS43SolProv

Effective July 1, 2010, the state’s procurement agency, OSD created an MSA referred to as ITS43TechSpec – IT Technical Specialists.  Similarly, the MSA ITS43SolProv was opened on July 1, 2011.  Both will last for two years with a state option to extend for an additional year.  Both MSAs provide a roster of pre-approved companies that can provide IT solutions in a variety of categories.  One of the categories is GIS Services.  A member of the MassGIS staff was on the procurement teams for both of these MSAs.

The ITS43TechSpec companies are:

Cartographic Associates
Full Circle Technologies
The Gartrell Group
Viewpoint Engineering
The ITS43SolProv companies on are:
Cambridge Systematics
Fuss and O'Neil
James W. Sewall Co.
PenBay Solutions
Tighe and Bond
These companies were selected competitively based on evaluating their project experience, capacity, experience with GIS data development, experience with web map hosting, references, and experience with open source web mapping software.

Services That Can Be Procured

Through either of these MSAs, the companies listed above can provide an array of GIS services including both GIS data development (automation and database design) and software application development.  The former includes data maintenance.  The latter may include developing tools to support data development as well as desktop computer applications or intra- or internet applications to provide access to GIS data.  Note that data compilation from aerial photography in a stereo imaging environment (planimetric compilation) is not a service that can be procured through either of these MSAs.

How to Obtain GIS Services Using These MSAs

The companies listed above for both these MSAs were selected through a competitive procurement process.  As part of that process, their qualifications for and experience with providing the GIS services requested has been evaluated.  Therefore, Massachusetts government agencies can use GIS service providers on either of these MSAs without doing a request for proposals process.  For municipalities, this means they do not have to go through a “Chapter 30B” procurement process.  Instead, public agencies can create a request for quotes (RFQ) in which they describes the services they seek and send it to only to the companies listed above.  You do not have to send your RFQ to all the companies, but it is wise to send it to enough companies so that you have a good likelihood of at least three responses to your RFQ.  By taking this approach, you ensure that you receive more than one proposal from qualified companies and a competitive price.  Besides the scope of work, your RFQ should provide information concerning schedule and, if appropriate, budget as well as information about how you will evaluate and score the proposals.  Your evaluation might be solely on price.  More likely you will want to evaluate some or all of the following: proposed approach to your project, qualifications of the proposed team, schedule, and budget.  You must let the recipients of your RFQ know that you are doing your procurement under one or both of these MSAs. Once you have selected the winning response, you can commence work as soon as you create a purchase order.  If you left room in your RFQ for choosing some optional services, be sure to document which services are being procured in your purchase order.  You may optionally choose to execute a contract with your selected vendor; your original RFQ can serve as the scope of services for the contract, modified to reflect any optional items you selected or any changes made during negotiations.

Finding Full Information on ITS43TechSpec or ITS43SolProv

  1. Visit the state procurement web site,
  2. In the middle of the page, select the link “Search for a Contract”
  3. On the search page, under the header “**AND** Search by Specific Criteria”, enter the following search criteria:
    • Check off that you’re looking for a statewide contract
    • Enter “ITS33” in the Document Number field
    • Select “Active” from the Document Status pick list
  1. Click on the “Search” button.
    When the search finishes, towards the top of the search page, you will see a link that says:
    “There are <#> Contract(s) found that match your search criteria” (see graphic below)

    GIS MSA Contracts 
  1. Click on the link to the contracts.
  2. The listed contracts will include “IT Services – Solution Providers” and “IT Services – Technical Specialists”; click on the “eye glasses” icon to the extreme right of any of these listings.  On this next page you will find information about the specific MSA.  There are various “tabs” on this page including “Summary”, “Forms & Terms”, and “Vendors”.
  3. Select the “Vendors” tab and look through the list for the entry “vendor listing”.
  4. Click on the “eye glasses” icon to the right of that listing.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click on the eyeglass icon to the right of the document described as “vendor spreadsheet”
  6. Open the spreadsheet and view details on the companies on the contract; one of the columns in the spreadsheet tells you the sub-category in which the company is listed.

Last Updated 7/9/2012