File a bid protest

Use this process to complain about a violation of the bid laws. Bid protests are handled by Bid Unit within the Fair Labor Division of the Attorney General's Office.
If the Bid Unit determines that a particular protest warrants a hearing, the hearing is usually held within 10 days of receiving the protest.

Attorney General's Bid Unit

The Details of File a bid protest

What you need for File a bid protest

Bid protests may be filed with the AGO's Bid Unit by any "interested party," including unsuccessful bidders, citizens, watchdog groups, unions, trade associations and competitors. 

To file a bid protest, a protestor should send a letter to the Bid Unit (with a copy sent to the awarding authority and the party against whom the protest is made) that identifies:

  • the awarding authority against whom the protest is being filed;
  • the public works / public building construction project for which bids are solicited;
  • the particular law violated, if known [M.G.L. c. 30, § 39M, c. 7C, §§ 44-58, c. 149, § 44A-H, or c. 149A]; and
  • a detailed description of the alleged violation (note: in a protest regarding a DCAM Certification/Decertification issue, the protest should include notification that the contractor is appealing either failure to be certified by DCAM or decertification by DCAM and the reason for the appeal).

Fees for File a bid protest

Name Fee Unit
Bid protest filing fee (non-refundable) $100 each

How to file File a bid protest

Send your bid protest and a check for $100 made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to:

Office of the Attorney General
Fair Labor Division, Bid Protest Unit
One Ashburton Place, 18th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-1518

Please note that the filing fee is non-refundable, even if the protest is withdrawn.

Bid protests may be submitted in PDF form via email to AGOBidUnit@state.ma.us, provided, however, that the $100 filing fee be submitted shortly thereafter.  Payment should be made by check payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and sent to:

Office of the Attorney General
Fair Labor Division, Bid Protest Unit
One Ashburton Place, 18th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-1518

Please note that the filing fee is non-refundable, even if the protest is withdrawn.

Bid protests may be submitted by facsimile, provided, however, that the $100 filing fee be submitted shortly thereafter. Facsimiles should be addressed to the Bid Unit and sent to: (617) 722-3066.  Payment should be made by check payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and sent to:

Office of the Attorney General
Fair Labor Division, Bid Protest Unit
One Ashburton Place, 18th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-1518

Please note that the filing fee is non-refundable, even if the protest is withdrawn.

Next steps for File a bid protest

Submit a written position statement

The Bid Unit processes the protest, and reviews the matter to determine whether a bid protest hearing is necessary to assist it in its investigation.

If a bid protest hearing will be held, the Bid Unit sends the protestor and the awarding authority a notice of the date and time of the hearing. The notice informs the parties that they are required to submit written position statements no later than two days prior to the hearing and that they must send a copy of such statement to the other named parties to the bid protest hearing. In most circumstances, the notice will request that the awarding authority refrain from awarding or performing work prior to resolution of the bid protest.

More info about File a bid protest

Under the Bid Laws, bid protestors have the right to file a bid protest with the AGO's Bid Unit or to file a civil action in Superior Court to restrain an awarding authority from taking certain action, such as, awarding or rebidding a particular contract. Such civil actions are generally brought as preliminary injunction / declaratory judgment actions. Only a court can issue a mandatory order under the Bid Laws or an award of monetary damages, such as, bid preparation costs or lost profits.

Contact for File a bid protest

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