Since its inception, the Office has participated in the development of policies and procedures related to the state’s public design and construction laws. The Office provides guidance and training to public officials and others. The Office works with various agencies, including the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Attorney General’s Office, as well as other agencies and many local entities to establish best practices.
The Office has prepared a number of publications and other information to assist public officials in contracting for design and construction services. Foremost, the manual - Designing and Construction Public Facilities - was developed for public officials who manage or oversee public construction projects and need a ready reference on the legal and procedural requirements of the procurement laws that apply to public design and construction contracts in Massachusetts. First published in 1985, the manual provides an overview of the design and construction process in lay terms; it also identifies those steps in the process that are governed by specific statutory requirements and offers guidance and suggestions regarding those steps not governed by statute.
In October 2011, the Office issued the seventh edition. This updated manual incorporates statutory changes enacted since the previous edition as well as recent interpretations by the Office of the Attorney General. Appendix A includes current contact information for agencies and offices that are involved in the public construction process.
In addition to the manual, the Office has produced many advisories reports and reviews concerned with public design and construction issues, practices and procedures.
Design and Construction Advice and Bid Protests
The Fair Labor Division of the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the design and construction laws, including M.G.L. c.7C, §§44-57 (Designer Selection); c.30, §39M (Public Works Construction); c.149, §§44A - 44J (Building Construction); and c.149A (Public Construction alternative delivery methods). Contact the Office of the Attorney General for guidance and information on the design and construction laws or for information on bid protests or to file a complaint regarding payment of prevailing wages. To contact that office, call 617-963-2371 or visit the Fair Labor Division web page.