about-bpw

About BPW

State of Maryland
Board of Public Works

Alan M. Wilner's 1984 book "The Maryland Board of Public Works:  A History" reads:

"The Board of Public Works is the highest administrative body in the Maryland state government. Consisting of the governor, the comptroller, and the treasurer, it now derives its ultimate authority from the state Constitution and is responsible for the expenditure of all capital appropriations and the superintendence of nearly all state public works projects. Each year it deals with hundreds of millions of dollars; . . . The Maryland Board of Public Works is almost unique in American government. Although some cities have such creatures or variations of it, there is nothing like it either at the federal level or among the other states.

Indeed, there is nothing quite like it. The modern mission of the Board is vast but may be summed up as protecting and enhancing the State's fiscal integrity by ensuring that significant State expenditures are necessary and appropriate, fiscally responsible, fair, and lawful. This is done through semi-monthly meetings in which the Board members review and vote on a myriad of agency proposals. In reviewing and approving capital projects, procurement contracts, and the acquisition, use, and transfer of State assets, the Board assures Marylanders that executive decisions are made responsibly and responsively.

The Board's power and duties, stated in the State Constitution, are those the General Assembly delegates to it through statute. Specifically, the Board:

  • Approves the expenditure of all general obligation bond funds;
  • Approves the expenditure of funds for capital improvements except for State roads, bridges, and highways;
  • Approves the sale, lease, or transfer of State real and personal property;
  • Controls procurement policy, adopts procurement regulations, and approves most contracts exceeding $200,000;
  • Approves allocation of funds paid to each county for school construction and adopts rules for the administration of the Public School Construction Program;
  • Preserves and protects the State's submerged lands, shoreline, and tidal wetlands and issues licenses to dredge or fill wetlands, and;
  • Debars vendors from entering into contracts with the State when the vendor has been convicted or the vendor's participation will adversely affect the integrity of the procurement process.   

For more information, visit www.maryland.gov/customerservice.