The Maryland Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement’s e-procurement system and specialized website features state-of-the-art procurement technology and simplifies county procurement to save time and money.
In 2019, the Department of General Services (DGS) partnered with Nitor, a procurement services firm focused on spend management, to implement the state’s new e-procurement system, eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). Now fully implemented, eMMA allows buyers to collaborate with vendors from the bidding and contracting process all the way through the purchasing process.
A DGS website (https://procurement.maryland.gov/procurement-staff/) helpfully lays out these state tools for those seeking to procure goods and services for the public — including county governments. The website also helpfully includes notations on which tools (most) are eligible for local governments to use.
Learning the basics
The website immediate links users to the State of Maryland Procurement Manual — the State Bible on all things procurement that spells out best practices for conducting procurements and highlights State Procurement laws, regulations, advisories, and policies. Users can also access State Finance and Procurement (SFP) law and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) through links from the manual.
Utilizing State tools to streamline local procurement
The DGS website also includes several useful tools deliberately designed to save time and effort during procurement. Tools that may help county governments streamline procurement include:
- Lists of the State of Maryland’s Preferred Providers to see if they have what your local agency needs
- Timelines & Checklists for CSB & CSP Procurement Methods to set up your procurement schedule and ensure the procurement steps are completed
- State of Maryland Procurement Templates and Solicitation Attachments and Appendices to help you building out your solicitation and/or request for bids
- DGS OSP General Delegation to Agencies and the DGS OSP & BPW Approval Authority Chart to confirm whether your agency can approve your new contract award, renewal option or modification or if it requires approval by the DGS Office of State Procurement (OSP) and the Board of Public Works (BPW).
- The Procurement Award Review and Submission Checklists for the DGS OSP approvals for procurement contracts anticipated to be over $50,000. The OSP-BPW and PAAR Submissions webpage includes the Action Agenda Item Templates and Guidelines for contract awards over $200,000 (and other thresholds), also requiring BPW approval.
- Resources to conduct a Procurement Review Group (PRG) to review your solicitation for socio-economic opportunities
Accessing opportunities for ride-able contracts
The DGS website even has a section listing ride-able contracts in a variety of sectors and industries for local governments to access the State’s full purchasing power. Doing so can likely save county governments time and money.
Potential ride-able State contracts include those in the following sectors:
- Commodities/Maintenance/ Construction (including Open Bids and Contract Awards)
- Professional Services
- Information Technology
- Design, Construction & Energy On Call Contracts
The DGS website also includes information and links to potential rideable contracts for other services managed by other departments:
- For banking services, finance, investment, insurance and related contracts, go to the
Maryland State Treasurer‘s Procurement webpage.
- For transportation or transportation-related contracts, go to the
Maryland Department of Transportation’s
In short, counties should familiarize themselves with eMMA’s website and should utilize its many resources to save time and money in virtually all aspects of procurement.