General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 30 General Provisions Relative to State Departments, Commissions, Officers and Employees - Section 39M Contracts for construction and materials; manner of awarding

[Text of section applicable as provided by 2009, 30, Secs. 14, 15 and 46.]

Section 39M. (a) Every contract for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, remodeling or repair of any public work, or for the purchase of any material, as hereinafter defined, by the commonwealth, or political subdivision thereof, or by any county, city, town, district, or housing authority, and estimated by the awarding authority to cost more than ten thousand dollars, and every contract for the construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance or repair of any building by a public agency, as defined by subsection one of section forty-four A of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, estimated to cost more than $25,000 but not more than $100,000, shall be awarded to the lowest responsible and eligible bidder on the basis of competitive bids publicly opened and read by such awarding authority forthwith upon expiration of the time for the filing thereof; provided, however, that such awarding authority may reject any and all bids, if it is in the public interest to do so. Every bid for such contract shall be accompanied by a bid deposit in the form of a bid bond, or cash, or a certified check on, or a treasurer’s or cashier’s check issued by, a responsible bank or trust company, payable to the awarding authority. The amount of such bid deposit shall be five per cent of the value of the bid. Any person submitting a bid under this section shall, on such bid, certify as follows:

The undersigned certifies under penalties of perjury that this bid is in all respects bona fide, fair and made without collusion or fraud with any other person. As used in this paragraph the word “person” shall mean any natural person, joint venture, partnership, corporation or other business or legal entity.

(Name of person signing bid)

This paragraph shall not apply to the award of any contract subject to the provisions of sections forty-four A to forty-four J, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and forty-nine and every such contract shall continue to be awarded as provided therein. In cases of extreme emergency caused by enemy attack, sabotage or other such hostile actions or resulting from an imminent security threat explosion, fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or other such catastrophe, an awarding authority may, without competitive bids and notwithstanding any general or specific law, award contracts otherwise subject to this paragraph to perform work and to purchase or rent materials and equipment, all as may be necessary for temporary repair and restoration to service of any and all public work in order to preserve the health and safety of persons or property; provided, that this exception shall not apply to any permanent reconstruction, alteration, remodeling or repair of any public work.

(b) Specifications for such contracts, and specifications for contracts awarded pursuant to the provisions of said sections forty-four A to forty-four L of said chapter one hundred and forty-nine, shall be written to provide for full competition for each item of material to be furnished under the contract; except, however, that said specifications may be otherwise written for sound reasons in the public interest stated in writing in the public records of the awarding authority or promptly given in writing by the awarding authority to anyone making a written request therefor, in either instance such writing to be prepared after reasonable investigation. Every such contract shall provide that an item equal to that named or described in the said specifications may be furnished; and an item shall be considered equal to the item so named or described if, in the opinion of the awarding authority: (1) it is at least equal in quality, durability, appearance, strength and design, (2) it will perform at least equally the function imposed by the general design for the public work being contracted for or the material being purchased, and (3) it conforms substantially, even with deviations, to the detailed requirements for the item in the said specifications. For each item of material the specifications shall provide for either a minimum of three named brands of material or a description of material which can be met by a minimum of three manufacturers or producers, and for the equal of any one of said name or described materials.

(c) The term “lowest responsible and eligible bidder” shall mean the bidder: (1) whose bid is the lowest of those bidders possessing the skill, ability and integrity necessary for the faithful performance of the work; (2) who shall certify, that he is able to furnish labor that can work in harmony with all other elements of labor employed or to be employed in the work; (3) who shall certify that all employees to be employed at the worksite will have successfully completed a course in construction safety and health approved by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration that is at least 10 hours in duration at the time the employee begins work and who shall furnish documentation of successful completion of said course with the first certified payroll report for each employee; (4) who, where the provisions of section 8B of chapter 29 apply, shall have been determined to be qualified thereunder; and (5) who obtains within 10 days of the notification of contract award the security by bond required under section 29 of chapter 149; provided that for the purposes of this section the term “security by bond” shall mean the bond of a surety company qualified to do business under the laws of the commonwealth and satisfactory to the awarding authority; provided further, that if there is more than 1 surety company, the surety companies shall be jointly and severally liable.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply (1) to the extent that they prevent the approval of such specifications by any contributing federal agency, (2) to materials purchased under specifications of the state department of highways at prices established by the said department pursuant to advertisement and bidding in connection with work to be performed under the provisions of chapter eighty-one or chapter ninety, (3) to any transaction between the commonwealth and any of its political subdivisions or between the commonwealth and any public service corporation, and (4) to any contract of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars awarded by a governmental body, as defined by section two of chapter thirty B, in accordance with the provisions of section five of said chapter thirty B; and (5) to any contract solely for the purchase of material awarded by a governmental body, as defined by section 2 of chapter 30B, in accordance with section 5 of said chapter 30B.

(e) The word “material” as used in this section shall mean and include any article, assembly, system, or any component part thereof.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015