SECTION 1. Chapter 7 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 22O, the following new section: -
Section 22P. Innovative Communities Program
There shall be within the executive office for administration and finance, an innovative communities program, hereinafter known as the program, to serve as a common place of access, education, and point of connection for startups and municipalities seeking innovative technology solutions. The secretary shall consult with the secretary of housing and economic development to design and operate the program. To implement the program, the secretary shall contract with state agencies, authorities, business associations, and other entities, including but not limited to, the commonwealth’s information technology division, the commonwealth’s operational services division, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, regional planning organizations, and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The contracts and reimbursements shall be designed to support municipalities and startups seeking to utilize innovative technology.
The innovative communities program shall support the introduction of cutting-edge technologies into the marketplace and incentivize the adoption of such technologies by municipalities. The secretary shall ensure that participants in the program represent innovative technology companies, including but not limited to those that are seeking a first or early-customer to validate the commercial readiness of their technologies by deployment of said technology within a participating innovative community.
(b) To qualify as an innovative community, a municipality or other local governmental body shall: (1) pass a resolution, upon the vote of the local governmental body, accepting the principles described in this section; (2) make electronically available to the public municipal data sets maintained by the municipality, excluding any data set containing information that identifies individual persons or is protected by law; (3) commit to attend the technology marketing events and expositions organized by the secretary; (4) commit to beta testing at least one technology annually that has been vetted and approved by the secretary and shall share the results of the trial with other municipalities participating in the program. Municipalities that meet the requirements of this section shall be designated by the secretary of housing and economic development as Innovative Communities and shall be eligible for the assistance provided for in sub-section (d).
(c) The secretary shall:
(1) develop, in consultation with the inspector general, an education program for municipalities regarding purchasing innovative technology from startups within the existing procurement structure, including purchasing options under chapter 7 and chapter 30B;
(2) develop, in consultation with the inspector general, an education program for startups that includes methods to understand the municipal purchasing process and the requirements and standards that must be fulfilled by startups in order to sell to municipalities, including opportunities to participate in the Commonwealth’s efforts to coordinate purchasing for government entities;
(3)create a plain language summary, in consultation with the inspector general, of how procurement exceptions operate for contracts negotiated by municipalities under section 22A of chapter 7, subsection 20 of section 1 of chapter 30B, subsection (a) of section 4 of chapter 30B, subsection (c) of section 4 of chapter 30B, section 7 of chapter 30B, section 22 of chapter 30B, section 23 of chapter 30B and develop standardized information materials to communicate consistent practices across municipalities for this program to enable startups and municipalities to contract under chapters 7 and 30B of the General Laws;
(4) organize marketing events and expositions for (1) startups to showcase their technology and conduct statewide innovation competitions to solicit proposals for innovative uses of technology that allow municipalities to better serve their residents or promote efficient use of resources and (2) participating municipalities to make known to startups their technology needs and share the results of the beta test required under subsection (b);
(5) engage municipalities and startups through marketing and outreach to promote the benefits of participating in the program, including soliciting entrepreneurial proposals for reshaping government services through various platforms, and encouraging participation from women and minority owned businesses;
(6) organize pilots, subject to appropriation, of the most promising ideas from the technology marketing events, expositions, and innovation competitions and establish procedures to implement said pilots in innovative communities;
(7) provide financial assistance, subject to appropriation, in the form of grants to municipalities that qualify as innovative communities under this section. These grants shall be used to finance all or a portion of the costs associated with the adoption of a program approved innovative technology;
(8) provide municipalities and startups with technical assistance to enter into agreements under chapter 7 and chapter 30B that assess the need, cost, and feasibility of employing the chosen technology
(9) develop a streamlined program for startups to contract with municipalities under subsection (c) of section 4 of chapter 30B;
(10) develop a pre-qualification process for participating startups to expedite the purchase of innovative technologies under chapter 7; establish collective purchasing, under section 22A of chapter 7, to be updated on a regular basis, but not less often than annually, whereby municipalities may make purchases of identified innovative technologies from the startups approved by the secretary under this section;
(11) establish evaluation, audit, and compliance procedures for participating startups, including a technology readiness assessment, self-audit, and standardized due diligence investigation of participating startup business profiles.
SECTION 2. There shall be established an innovative communities advisory board within, but not subject to the control of, the executive office for administration and finance. The advisory board shall consist of the following members appointed by the governor: 1 CEO of a clean energy company or a designee; 1 CEO of an innovative information technology company or a designee; 1 CEO of an innovative startup company or a designee; 1 investor in new technology companies; 2 CEO’s of associations representing emerging technology industries; 2 individuals who have experience with business incubators or shared workspaces; 1 representative of a regional planning organization; 1 representative of the Massachusetts Association of Public Purchasing Officials; and the executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, or a designee. All appointments to the advisory board shall be made not later than 30 days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority. The advisory board shall elect a chairperson who shall schedule the first meeting of the advisory board, which shall be held not later than 60 days after the effective date of this section.
SECTION 3. There shall be a special commission to conduct an investigation and study potential barriers to the adoption of innovative technologies by state and local governments and entities created or exacerbated by existing procurement laws in the Commonwealth. The commission shall consist of the following 20 members: 2 members of the Senate, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Senate President, and one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; 2 members of the House of Representatives, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives ; 1 member shall be the Secretary of Administration and Finance or a designee; 1 member shall be the secretary of Housing and Economic Development or a designee; 1 member shall be the Assistant Secretary for Operational Services or a designee; 1 member shall be the Inspector General or a designee; 1 member shall be the Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management or a designee; 1 member shall be the CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center or a designee; 1 member shall be the Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources or a designee; 1 member shall be the CEO of MassDevelopment or a designee; 1 member shall be the CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative; 6 members shall be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be the CEO of a clean energy company or a designee, 1 of whom shall be the CEO of an innovative information technology company or a designee and 1 of whom shall be the CEO of an innovative startup company or a designee; 1 of whom shall be an investor in new technology companies; 2 of whom shall be CEO’s of associations representing emerging technology industries; and the executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, or a designee.
(b) The commission shall examine, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) the ways in which existing procurement rules may unnecessarily exclude less established companies from obtaining contracts; particularly innovative startup companies; (2) opportunities for establishing a method for pre-qualification of companies offering innovative technology solutions; (3) opportunities for state wide programs designed to encourage state or local government procurement of innovative technologies; (4) opportunities for public/private collaboration; and (5) any regulatory changes which could encourage the adoption of innovative technologies without compromising the competitive bid process.
(c) The commission may hold hearings and invite testimony from experts and the public. The commission shall review and identify best practices learned from similar efforts in other states.
(d) The commission shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and make recommendations together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out its recommendations by filing the report with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate not later than January 1, 2017.
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