Important Changes to the Massachusetts Public Construction Procurement Laws

Find helpful information on the Municipal Modernization Act of 2016, Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016, contains the most significant changes to the construction procurement laws since the Construction Reform Law of 2004.

The Municipal Modernization Act includes changes to both the building and horizontal public construction procurement laws.  These changes streamline and standardize procurement for smaller public projects and they take effect on November 7, 2016

The new law includes the following:

  • Changes that standardize the dollar thresholds, advertising requirements and procurement process requirements for both vertical and horizontal construction projects estimated to cost up to $150,000.
  • Increased thresholds that streamline the process for the procurement of construction related services for the smaller projects estimated to cost up to $150,000. These threshold changes affect building projects, public works projects and CM at Risk projects.
  • For public building project procurements the new law increases the thresholds for projects requiring a formal bid opening process from $25,000 to $50,000 and those requiring DCAMM Certification and submission of filed sub-bids from those over $100,000, to those over $150,000.  
  • Increases the threshold for filed sub-bids on public building projects from the prior over $20,000, to over $25,000 and the threshold for Paragraph E sub-sub bids from the prior over $10,000, to over $25,000.
  • The new law also includes provisions permitting the use of Agency/Awarding Authority procured blanket vendor contracts or OSD Statewide Contracts for procurement of smaller maintenance and repair services to facilitate streamlining procurement of these smaller tasks while retaining competitive pricing.

For additional information see the chart below for an overview of changes to public construction procurement thresholds and incorporate them into the procurement processes effective November 7th, 2016. 

Massachusetts Public Construction Procurement - Current vs. New Law Thresholds and Process Changes - Effective November 7, 2016

Thresholds
(Law, Summary Requirements  and Changes)
Type of Procurement Current Law

New Municipal Modernization Act Changes

Vertical Building Construction, Reconstruction, Installation, Demolition, Maintenance or Repair

G.L.c. 149, §44A - sound business practice procurement, under $10,000 (no change)

Building only
(lowest cost)

Under $10,000

Under $10,000*
(Can Use Agency Blanket or OSD Statewide Trade Contract)

G.L.c. 149, §44A – seek 3 quotes and public notification**,  was $10,000-$25,000 (increasing)now to $50,000

Building only
(low cost)

$10,000 - $25,000

$10,000 - $50,000 **
(Can Use Agency Blanket or OSD Statewide Trade Contract in Lieu of Public Notification if prices acceptable)

G.L.c. 149, §44A – public advertise & public bid opening, was $25,000-$100,000 (increasing) now to >$50,000-$150,000

Building only
(low+ cost)
G.L.c. 149 incorporates c.30,§39M process

$25,000 -$100,000

>$50,000 -$150,000

 

G.L.c. 149, §44A-J – public advertise & bid opening, filed sub-bid and certification apply, was >$100,000 (increasing) now to >$150,000
(also increases in filed sub-bid and Paragraph E thresholds)

Building only
(higher cost)

Over $100,000
Filed sub-bid threshold >$20,000***
Par. E threshold >$10,000***

Over $150,000
Filed sub-bid threshold >$25,000***
Par. E threshold >$25,000***

Horizontal Public Works(any cost), Materials and Vertical Building Projects >$50,000-$150,000

G.L.c. 30, §39M- best business practice procurement, under $10,000 (new)

Horizontal & materials only
(lowest cost)

Prior to new law, no process defined for horizontal under $10,000

Under $10,000*
(new)
(Can Use Agency Blanket or OSD Statewide Trade Contract)

G.L.c.30, §39M - quotes and  public notification,
 This category did not exist for horizontal

Horizontal & materials only
(low cost)

Prior to new law, no threshold or different process in this range for horizontal

$10,000 -$50,000**
(new)
(Can Use Agency Blanket or OSD Statewide Trade Contract in Lieu of Public Notification if prices acceptable)

G.L.c.30, §39M – public advertise and public bid opening was $10,000+ now to >$50,000.

 Horizontal (anything over low cost)
Vertical (low+ cost)

Horizontal & Materials $10,000 and up
Vertical >$25,000-$100,000

Horizontal & Materials >$50,000 and up
Vertical >$50,000- $150,000

 

*      Awarding authority may use quotes from OSD Statewide Contract or Blanket Contract Procured by awarding authority as sound business practice. More information to come.

**    Awarding authority may seek quotes from OSD Statewide Contract or Blanket Contract Procured by awarding authority.  If awarding authority receives two or more quotes from OSD Statewide or its Blanket Contract and prices acceptable, need not do public notification. More information to come.

*** Filed sub-bid and par. E threshold changes also apply to c149A CM at Risk Trade Contractor procurement.

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