Chapter 30B was enacted in 1990 and resulted from collaboration among the Office of the Inspector General, the Massachusetts Association of Public Purchasing Officials, the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials, the City Solicitors and Town Counsel Association (now the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association), and local officials to adapt the American Bar Association’s Model Procurement Code to reflect specific Massachusetts practice and case law. 

The contracting procedures in Chapter 30B are based on three premises:

1. Uniform contracting procedures promote competition and fairness. Chapter 30B clarified and demystified local contracting for vendors competing for contracts and for citizens observing the process.
2. Fair, robust competition for larger procurements saves money and promotes integrity and public confidence in government.
3. Scaled procedures reflect that larger contracts merit more attention than smaller contracts and enable local governmental bodies to devote more attention to larger contracts.

In general, Chapter 30B applies to the procurement of supplies and services, dispositions of surplus supplies, and the acquisition and disposition of real property. For supplies and services, with certain exceptions, Chapter 30B provides for:

  • Use of sound business practices for procurements of less than $10,000.
  • Solicitation of three quotes for procurements estimated to cost $10,000 to $50,000.
  • Competitive sealed bids or proposals for procurements estimated to cost more than $50,000.

Chapter 30B prescribes procedures for the disposition of surplus supplies with a value of $10,000 or more and requires that the procurement officer dispose of surplus supplies with an estimated net value of less than $10,000 using written procedures approved by the governmental body. Also, Chapter 30B prescribes procedures for the acquisition of an interest in real property by purchase or rental with a cost of more than $35,000, and for the disposition of an interest in real property by sale or rental with a value greater than $35,000.