Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30B (Updated November 2016)

This law establishes three sets of procedures for awarding supply and service contracts. The specific procedures you use will depend on the actual dollar value of the contract over the entire contract term, including the period covered by any options to renew or extend the contract.  The following summarizes the three types of contract under 30B:

  1. Supplies or Services Estimated to Cost Under $10,000: Use sound business practices. The term sound business practices is defined as “ensuring the receipt of a favorable price by periodically soliciting price lists or quotes.” While the law does not require a formal competitive process, it does require local jurisdictions to ensure that they have received quality supplies and services at a reasonable price.
  2. Supplies or Services Estimated to Cost at least $10,000 but not more than $50,000: Seek written quotes from at least three vendors based on a written purchase description and award the contract to the responsible vendor offering the supply or service for the best price. See Chapter 3 for more information on procuring supplies or services using quotes and the recordkeeping requirements under Chapter 30B.
  3. Supplies or Services Estimated to Cost More than $50,000: Conduct a formal, advertised competition by issuing an invitation for bids (IFB) or a request for proposals (RFP). In a bid process, you award the contract to a qualified bidder who meets your specifications and offers the best price.  

For more details, please see the Chapter 30B Manual: 

Sample RFPs
A Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued by an agency or company to procure a service, or valuable asset. Potential suppliers submit competitive business proposals that include their qualifications, previous experience, and a price to complete the service or product.

Peabody RFP for Facade & Design Guidelines Manual

Salem RFP for Preparation of Nomination to be placed on National Register of Historic Places

Sample RFQs
Requests for Quotations (RFQ) are issued to invite suppliers into a bidding process for specific products or services. An RFQ typically involves more than the price per item, as in an Invitation for Bids (see below).

new north andover fire station


North Andover RFQ for Architect Renovation of Fire station

North Andover RFQ for Engineering Design Services



Invitations for Bids
Invitations for Bids are used to solicit of price proposals for a specific project. Cambridge and Haverhill have used Invitations for Bids for various municipal projects.

City of Cambridge Water Works Materials

City of Haverhill Backup Emergency Diesel Generator



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