Chapter 296 of the Acts of 1993, An Act Further Regulating the Purchase of State Services, provides that the State Auditor approve all privatization contracts entered into by state agencies. The OSA must certify that the cost of performing the service by the private vendor is less costly than having the work done by state employees, and that the quality of services will be equal or better. The law, now Chapter 7, sections 52 through 55, MGLs, applies to contracts that have an aggregate value of $559,637 or more.
Pursuant to this law, the privatization process includes preparing a detailed statement of services to be used in soliciting competitive bids, estimating the most cost-efficient method of providing those services with agency employees, and, finally, comparing the in-house cost with the cost of contract performance. Additionally, the agency is responsible for ensuring that the private bids and private contracts, if ultimately awarded, contain all Chapter 296 provisions regarding wages, benefits, and personnel.
It is the responsibility of the State Auditor to independently determine whether the process followed by the agency meets the requirements of the law.
Under the privatization law, the State Auditor has 30 business days (and 30 additional days if deemed necessary) from the date of receipt of all necessary agency documents to approve or reject the contract. The law also authorizes the State Auditor to adopt regulations and prescribe forms to carry out statute provisions. The OSA, in response, issued "Guidelines for Implementing the Commonwealth's Privatization Law," outlining the process and prescribing forms agencies must use in preparing and submitting certification data. The OSA issued eighteen formal determinations on privatization proposals.
The OSA routinely responds to many requests from agencies, the Legislature, and the public to clarify or investigate specific privatization compliance issues. OSA responsibilities have included meetings with concerned parties, correspondence, document requests and reviews, and final determinations relative to these inquiries.
Independent State Auditor’s Determination on Quinsigamond Community College’s Proposal to Privatize Its Campus Bookstore
(August 12, 2016) No. 2017-0203-13O
Independent State Auditor’s Determination on the Department of Mental Health’s Proposal to Privatize Its Southeast Emergency Services Program
(March 30, 2016) No. 2016-0236-3O
(November 17, 2015) No. 2016-0204-13O
(January 27, 2014) No. 2014-0210-13O
(September 9, 2008) No. 2009-0205-13O
(August 24, 2007) No. 2006-0064-13O
(April 29, 2004) No. 2004-0587-13O
(February 12, 2004) No. 2004-0064-13O
(March 3, 2003) No. 2003-0064-13O
(April 3, 2002) No. 2001-2513-3
University of Massachusetts - Privatization of the Management and Operation of the University Store file size 1MB
(June 1, 2000) No. 2000-2514-9
(August 31, 1999) No. 1998-2513-7
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Privatization of Bus Routes from Charlestown and Quincy Garages
(June 20, 1997) No. 1997-2512-9
(May 16, 1997) No. 1997-2511-9
Massachusetts Highway Department's Proposal to Privatize the Maintenance of State Roads in Worcester County
(December 12, 1996) No. 1997-2510-9
(December 11, 1996) No. 1997-2509-9
(September 26, 1996) No. 1997-2506-9
(August 15, 1996) No. 1997-2507-9
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Proposal to Privatize Property Management and Real Estate Development Activities
(June 10, 1996) No. 1996-2505-9
(January 31, 1996) No. 1996-2503-9
Metropolitan District Commission's (MDC) Privatization of Parking Lot Services at Nahant and Nantasket Beaches
(June 30, 1995) No. 1995-2502-9
(March 22, 1995) No. 1995-2501-9