On August 9, 2016, the Governor signed An Act Modernizing Municipal Finance and Government (the “Act”), which amends many laws related to municipal finance and governance.  The Act includes changes to three public bidding laws – M.G.L. c. 30B, M.G.L. c. 30, and M.G.L. c. 149.  The changes to the public bidding laws go into effect on November 7, 2016.

First, the Act amends certain thresholds and requirements in M.G.L. c. 30B (“Chapter 30B”) for purchasing supplies and services.  Specifically, Chapter 30B establishes three sets of procedures for procuring supplies and services, depending on the actual dollar value of the procurement.  Beginning November 7, 2016, the dollar thresholds will change as follows:

 

ThresholdRequired Procedure
Less than $10,000Use sound business practices
$10,000 - $50,000Request 3 written quotes
More than $50,000Use an Invitation for Bids or Request for Proposals

 

As listed above, procurement officials will need to seek at least three written quotations for supplies and services valued between $10,000 and $50,000; currently, officials can request oral quotes.  Also, under the Act, Invitations for Bids or Requests for Proposals will need to be advertised on COMMBUYS; this is in addition to the current advertising requirements.  The Act also changes the rules related to compensating balance accounts. The provisions related to real property transactions will not change.

Finally, the Act also raises thresholds, changes certain procedures, and amends the advertising requirements for construction projects undertaken pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30, § 39M, and M.G.L. c. 149.  

The Office has issued a more detailed summary of the changes.  See Procurement Charts Effective November 7, 2016 pdf format of Charts on Procurement Procedures Effective 11-7-2016 
docx format of                             Charts on Procurement Procedures Effective 11-7-2016                 .

Over the next several weeks, moreover, the Office will be updating its website, MCPPO training materials, manuals and other publications to reflect the changes.  In the meantime, please call the Inspector General’s 30B hotline at (617) 722-8838 or email the hotline at 30BHotline@massmail.state.ma.us with any questions concerning Chapter 30B. For construction-related questions, you may contact the Attorney General’s Bid Unit Office at (617) 963-2371 or at AGOBidUnit@state.ma.us.

The full text of the Act is available at: Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016.