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Installing Wiring in Ceiling for Camera InstallationTechnology is woven into our daily workflow so, not surprisingly, OSD fields a good number of questions about using Statewide Contracts for technology projects.

Particularly since the advent of An Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government in November 2016 – which raised construction procurement thresholds from $10,000 to $50,000 and increased the viability of using Statewide Contracts for technology projects – buyers frequently approach OSD about the applicability of construction procurement laws (M.G.L. c. 149, and M.G.L. c. 30, §39M) and the Prevailing Wage Law (M.G.L. c. 149, §§26-27), as these projects often include installation of network wiring, such as low voltage and optical fiber cable, and construction laws may apply.

Municipal buyers should clearly understand that it is the responsibility of the purchasing entity to comply with applicable construction law requirements and they are strongly urged to obtain legal advice from their local counsel. It also may be worthwhile to contact the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division, as well as the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), for additional information (see Related Resources below). While we are providing some context to these regulations as they relate to using OSD’s Statewide Contracts, OSD does not offer specific construction law guidance.

As a general rule of thumb, if an IT project does not involve the alteration of a building structure, i.e. the coring of walls or floors or the installation of conduit, then the construction procurement laws do not apply and the buyer may utilize the appropriate Statewide Contract(s) without limit.

For example, the upgrade of a security system which utilizes pre-existing holes and conduit for the low voltage cable runs, and which does not otherwise alter the building structure, security equipment may be procured through Statewide Contract FAC64: Security, Surveillance, Monitoring, and Access Control Systems. The buyer may select the FAC64 vendor that submits the quote with the best value.

If, however, the project involves an alteration of the building structure, such as the installation of new conduit, the buyer may use the FAC64 contract, provided the construction labor is less than $50,000. Buyers should note that the labor provided by the vendor for the installation (pulling) of the low voltage cable and any component parts are subject to the Prevailing Wage Law. Based on the requirements of the FAC64 contract, and consistent with applicable regulations, the buyer must solicit quotes from at least three FAC64 vendors. If the construction labor is less than $10,000, the buyer may select a responding vendor based on sound business practices. For construction labor valued between $10,000 and $50,000, the buyer must receive at least two written responses and select the quote from the lowest responsible bidder.

Similarly, this guidance would hold true for use of other Statewide Contracts, such as ITT50 Converged Voice and Data Communications Systems, ITT46 Network Services, ITC47 IT Hardware and Services, ITC68 Data Cable Products and Services, and OFF40 Audio, Video, Multimedia Presentation Equipment and Services.

Continue to send Statewide Contract questions to OSD. Reference AG and OIG resources below.

Related Resources
Public construction under M.G.L. c.149 or M.G.L. c.30, §39M, regardless of the dollar amount, requires payment of prevailing wage. Construction includes additions to and alterations of public works, in accordance with M.G.L. c.149 §27D. Questions regarding the applicability of prevailing wage to any project should be directed to the Department of Labor Standards. Questions about public construction bidding should be directed to Deborah Anderson, Counsel II for the Attorney General’s Office, at 617-963-2371. Visit the Attorney General’s web page to learn more about Prevailing Wage and Public Bidding Laws.

Information also may be found on the Office of the Inspector General’s Guides and Advisories page: Charts on Procurement Procedures. Please also review the OIG’s Designing and Constructing Public Facilities manual. Chapter 30B Procurement Assistance from the Office of the Inspector General is available at mass.gov/ig/procurement-assistance. Access the 30B Hotline at 617-722-8838 or email 30BHotline@mass.gov.

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