Section 39I. Every contractor having a contract for the construction, alteration, maintenance, repair or demolition of, or addition to, any public building or public works for the commonwealth, or of any political subdivision thereof, shall perform all the work required by such contract in conformity with the plans and specifications contained therein. No wilful and substantial deviation from said plans and specifications shall be made unless authorized in writing by the awarding authority or by the engineer or architect in charge of the work who is duly authorized by the awarding authority to approve such deviations. In order to avoid delays in the prosecution of the work required by such contract such deviation from the plans or specifications may be authorized by a written order of the awarding authority or such engineer or architect so authorized to approve such deviation. Within thirty days thereafter, such written order shall be confirmed by a certificate of the awarding authority stating: (1) If such deviation involves any substitution or elimination of materials, fixtures or equipment, the reasons why such materials, fixtures or equipment were included in the first instance and the reasons for substitution or elimination, and, if the deviation is of any other nature, the reasons for such deviation, giving justification therefor; (2) that the specified deviation does not materially injure the project as a whole; (3) that either the work substituted for the work specified is of the same cost and quality, or that an equitable adjustment has been agreed upon between the contracting agency and the contractor and the amount in dollars of said adjustment; and (4) that the deviation is in the best interest of the contracting authority.
Such certificate shall be signed under the penalties of perjury and shall be a permanent part of the file record of the work contracted for.
Whoever violates any provision of this section wilfully and with intent to defraud shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.