Section 9 of M.G.L. c. 30B provides that "[t]he procurement officer may cancel an invitation for bids, a request for proposals, or other solicitation, or may reject in whole or in part any and all bids or proposals when the procurement officer determines that cancellation or rejection serves the best interests of the governmental body." The procurement officer is required to state, in writing, the reason for a cancellation or rejection. Id. 6 On its face, this provision would appear to give awarding authorities a great deal of discretion to determine when to accept or reject bids. However, related provisions within M.G.L. c. 30B and Massachusetts case law clearly limit that discretionary authority.
When an awarding authority solicits bids under M.G.L. c. 30B, §5, the contract must be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. M.G.L. c. 30B, §5(g). When proposals are solicited pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30B, §6, an awarding authority must award the contract to the most advantageous proposal from a responsible and responsive offeror, taking into consideration price and non-price evaluation criteria. M.G.L. c. 30B, §6(g).