SECTION 1. Chapter 30 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 39P and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 39P. (a) Every contract subject to section 39M or section 44A of chapter 149 which requires the awarding authority, any official, its architect or engineer to make a decision on interpretation of the specifications, approval of equipment, material or any other approval, or progress of the work, shall require that the decision be made promptly and, in any event, not later than 15 days after the written submission for decision? but if such decision requires extended investigation and study, the awarding authority, the official, architect or engineer shall, within said 15 days after the receipt of the submission, give the party making the submission written notice of the reasons why the decision cannot be made within the 15 day period and the date by which the decision shall be made. The awarding authority shall designate 1 or more employees to address inquiries from contractors regarding the status of such written submissions for decision, and the employee or employees shall, upon written request, certify that the awarding authority has taken all reasonable steps to expedite the decision. Such certification shall be provided in writing within 5 business days of receiving such written request from a contractor.
(b) The awarding authority shall implement a reporting system which shall track written submissions for decision and the awarding authority’s responses thereto. The reporting system shall include, but not be limited to: the date each written submission for decision was submitted to the awarding authority; the date that a decision was made by the awarding authority; the date that the decision was provided to the party submitting the written submission for decision; the issue being addressed by the decision; and any approval or concurrence required from a federal agency, the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof. Any failure to make a decision within 15 days of a written submission shall be included in the reporting system, the reason for failure to timely respond, the final date a decision was made and the date the decision was provided to the party submitting the written submission for decision.
(c) The awarding authority shall compile, twice yearly, a report that shall include all data required pursuant to subsection (b) over the most recent 6-month period, the first of which shall be filed not later than May 1, and the second not later than November 1. These reports shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means, the senate and house chairs of the joint committees on transportation and state administration and regulatory oversight and the inspector general. The inspector general may, pursuant to the powers granted by section 9 of chapter 12A, make any investigations, audits or reports regarding the filings submitted by the awarding authorities.
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