The Office of the Inspector General Reminds Municipalities to Avoid Bid-Splitting
A city or town may purchase goods or services periodically throughout the year, with no one purchase costing $10,000 or more. Generally, such purchases need only follow sound business practices, even if the purchases are from the same vendor. G.L. c. 30B, § 4(c). In the Frequently Asked Questions of the Inspector General’s July Bulletin, the answer gave the example of purchases throughout the year from the local hardware store as proper, even if collectively the purchases equal or exceed $10,000. However, the Office reminds readers that it is improper to intentionally divide a procurement into a series of smaller purchases to intentionally avoid the requirement to solicit at least three written quotes. Bid-splitting is illegal under G.L. c. 30B, § 11.