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In response to Governor Baker’s August 9 announcement of the Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government, the Operational Services Division (OSD) developed a municipal outreach program to share related procurement information and resources with Massachusetts communities. OSD’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) event series, hosted in cities and towns around the Commonwealth, raised community awareness of changes resulting from the legislation, as well as provided readiness activities and resources to support compliance and procurement best practices.

The Office of the Inspector General (IG) embraced the opportuMap of Municipal boundaries in Massachusettsnity to join OSD on this endeavor, which helped to drive interest in the N2N events. The two-hour N2N program, which kicked off in September and concluded on December 9, included an overview of the revised procurement thresholds, new bid advertising requirements, and updated guidelines for using Statewide Contracts. The IG staff discussed how the legislation impacts Chapter 30B requirements and OSD staff provided an overview of the revised procurement thresholds related to G.L. c. 149, §§ 44A, 44F and 44J and G.L. c. 30, § 39M.

Since the legislation mandates posting bid notifications in COMMBUYS, the program also included a demonstration of how to perform this task in five easy steps. Finally, the program outlined COMMBUYS and Statewide Contract relationship management resources available through OSD’s Local Government Enablement Team, and offered Municipal Modernization preparation tips and support materials.

Though originally slated for four Massachusetts locations, word of mouth and consequent interest grew the number of N2N events to 10. In total, 361 attendees representing 165 Massachusetts communities attended N2N events hosted in Quincy, Needham, Everett, Haverhill, Dighton, Carver, Fitchburg, Lenox, Rowley, and Huntington. Since the initiation of the N2N series, an additional 118 municipalities have registered in COMMBUYS. Moreover, several communities have expressed interest in expanding their use of COMMBUYS beyond the required bid notification postings and using the tool for purchasing activities.

The N2N events not only served their original intent to expand knowledge and information surrounding the new legislation, but additionally have broadened municipalities’ knowledge of OSD and the services available to help them achieve procurement success. Many thanks to the host communities, as well as the Office of the Inspector General for their expertise and collaboration!

 

Did you attend a Neighbor-to-Neighbor event?

You are able to earn two credits towards your Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official (MCPPO) Designation recertification! When you are applying for recertification, simply add the date and N2N event you attended.

 

Municipal Modernization Act Changes Also Apply to Executive Agencies

Although the title of the Act refers to many municipal statutes that were updated effective November 7, Executive Agency purchasers should be aware that several provisions of the Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government directly impact the procurement of small construction-related materials and services for all purchasers, including those from Executive Agencies.

The Office of the Inspector General created a quick reference guide on public procurement procedures for Chapter 30B, Chapter 149, and Chapter 30, section 39M, that must be followed pursuant to the Massachusetts General Laws. We suggest that you print a copy of this document to have on hand for your next construction-related purchasing endeavor.

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