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Advertising Bids in the Massachusetts Goods and Services Bulletin and the General Register

Advertising Bids in the Massachusetts Goods and Services Bulletin and the General Register

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Published by William F. Zachmann
Recently, it has come to our attention that some governmental agencies have been
advertising their procurement bids with Comm-PASS (Commonwealth Procurement
Access & Solicitation System), and not in the Central Register or the Goods & Services
Bulletin as required by law. As you may already be aware, the Governor's Division of
Operational Services, which oversees procurement, now publishes certain state bid
notices via the Internet through a recently developed program called Com-PASS.
Several agencies we contacted indicated that they were under the impression that they
only had to place their bid notices on Comm-PASS. Nothing could be further from the
truth. State law (Ch.9, section 20A) and state regulations (950 CMR 21.00) mandate
that state, county, and local government agencies all place their bid notices for certain
design, construction-related, and real estate projects in the Central Register. In addition,
the Uniform Procurement Law (Chapter 30B, section 5) still requires all municipalities
and county agencies to advertise most bids for procurements over $100,000 in the
Goods & Services Bulletin. Any bid which is supposed to be advertised in the Central
Register or the Goods & Services Bulletin, but is placed only on Comm-PASS instead,
is illegal and could be subject to a challenge. Stiff penalties could also be issued and, if
necessary, enforced by the Inspector General's Office if authorized by the Attorney
General. It is important to note that the only government agencies that must adhere to
the Governor's regulations requiring the use of Comm-PASS are those agencies that fall
under the executive branch at the state level. The state legislature, judiciary, other
constitutional offices, independent authorities, educational institutions, county
government, and all 351 municipalities do not have to adhere to the Comm-PASS
regulations, but generally are required to advertise in the Central Register or the Goods
& Services Bulletin. We hope that this clarifies any confusion that has arisen over the
past few months regarding the bid procedure. If you have any questions regarding this
matter, please contact our office at (617) 727-2831.
Recently, it has come to our attention that some governmental agencies have been
advertising their procurement bids with Comm-PASS (Commonwealth Procurement
Access & Solicitation System), and not in the Central Register or the Goods & Services
Bulletin as required by law. As you may already be aware, the Governor's Division of
Operational Services, which oversees procurement, now publishes certain state bid
notices via the Internet through a recently developed program called Com-PASS.
Several agencies we contacted indicated that they were under the impression that they
only had to place their bid notices on Comm-PASS. Nothing could be further from the
truth. State law (Ch.9, section 20A) and state regulations (950 CMR 21.00) mandate
that state, county, and local government agencies all place their bid notices for certain
design, construction-related, and real estate projects in the Central Register. In addition,
the Uniform Procurement Law (Chapter 30B, section 5) still requires all municipalities
and county agencies to advertise most bids for procurements over $100,000 in the
Goods & Services Bulletin. Any bid which is supposed to be advertised in the Central
Register or the Goods & Services Bulletin, but is placed only on Comm-PASS instead,
is illegal and could be subject to a challenge. Stiff penalties could also be issued and, if
necessary, enforced by the Inspector General's Office if authorized by the Attorney
General. It is important to note that the only government agencies that must adhere to
the Governor's regulations requiring the use of Comm-PASS are those agencies that fall
under the executive branch at the state level. The state legislature, judiciary, other
constitutional offices, independent authorities, educational institutions, county
government, and all 351 municipalities do not have to adhere to the Comm-PASS
regulations, but generally are required to advertise in the Central Register or the Goods
& Services Bulletin. We hope that this clarifies any confusion that has arisen over the
past few months regarding the bid procedure. If you have any questions regarding this
matter, please contact our office at (617) 727-2831.

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Published by: William F. Zachmann on Jul 20, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain

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