Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
An MMA webinar today with the Operational Services Division reviewed how to access statewide contract information and use COMMBUYS for procurement.
Panelists from the Operational Services Division’s Local Government Team discussed how to use statewide contracts effectively, identify underused contracts, post bid announcements, and search for products and vendors.
OSD Local Government Account Manager Jackie Needham began by discussing the efficiency of the wide-ranging statewide contracts, which meet the requirements of the state’s Uniform Procurement Act (Chapter 30B) and offer competitive pricing with pre-negotiated benefits.
Needham said the OSD has developed contract user guides to make it easier for buyers to understand the key aspects of each statewide contract, enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions and place orders in COMMBUYS. The components of a guide include a contract summary, benefits and cost savings, pricing and purchasing options, and contract counties or regions, among other details.
Among the more popular statewide contracts used by cities and towns in fiscal 2023 were IT Hardware and Services, Public Safety Equipment, and Building Maintenance Repair, Needham said. She also highlighted underused contracts in professional and trade services, as well as vehicle, transportation and road maintenance.
Local Government Account Manager Jennifer Forsey reviewed the COMMBUYS landing page and helpful resources for municipalities during procurement. She highlighted the platform’s Trades Index, which allows users to quickly see which vendors are on contract. Forsey explained how to post a bid notice in COMMBUYS after registering as a buyer.
North Andover Assistant Town Manager and Director of Operations Laurie Burzlaff moderated 25 minutes of questions and answers, which addressed inquiries about changing the fiscal year on COMMBUYS listings, soliciting quotes, and United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes. Tim Kennedy, OSD director of strategic sourcing services, joined Needham and Forsey for the Q&A.
• Presentation: Best Practices for Navigating Statewide Contracts and COMMBUYS Purchasing (3.8MB PDF)