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BSA News

Mar 17, 2021

Architects Needed To Serve on the State Designer Selection Board

Public Call misc

Interested in expanding your work as a Citizen Architect? This is a great volunteer opportunity for members to get involved at the state level and to share Boston’s leadership on many issues.

In May, the Massachusetts State Designer Selection Board (DSB) will have an opening for an architect to serve on its board.

Per MGL. c.7c §45, this seat is one of the eight DSB members appointed by the Governor. (see Appointment of Members below)

The DSB was originally created by the state legislature via Chapter 579 of Acts and Resolves 1980 as one of the reforms recommended by the Ward Commission’s investigation into waste, fraud, and abuse in Massachusetts state building construction.

The mission of this professional volunteer board is to:

“ensure that the commonwealth receives the highest quality design services for all its public building projects; provide for increased confidence in the procedures followed in the procurement of design and design related services; promote consistency in the methods of procurement of design and design related services for all public building projects in the commonwealth; foster effective broad-based participation in public work within the design professions; provide safeguards for the maintenance of the integrity of the system for procurement of designers' services within the commonwealth;”… (M.G.L. Chapter 7C, Section 44)

Appointment of Members
The Designer Selection Board consists of eleven members. Eight DSB members are appointed by the Governor:

  • three registered architects,
  • three registered engineers, and
  • two representatives of the public who are not architectural designers, engineers, or construction contractors.

Three additional members are appointed by the building-related professional societies:

  • an Architect by the Massachusetts State Association of Architects, (AIA MA)
  • an Engineer by the Massachusetts Society for Professional Engineers (MSPE) or its equivalent,
  • a General Contractor by the Associated General Contractors (AGC).

Conditions of Membership

  • DSB members are appointed for a term of two years and may be reappointed for no more than one successive two-year term.
  • DSB members serve without compensation. The amount of time required to attend board meetings has averaged two meetings per month (typically Wednesdays) which last about 4 hours each. Parking in the state garage is provided; members are reimbursed for mileage to and from the meetings, and for all necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties, including travel inside and outside the state.
  • No member of the Board may participate in the selection of a designer for a project if the member or any member of his/her immediate family has a direct or indirect present or future financial interest in the selection of that designer or in any way will benefit financially therefrom.
  • Each year the Board elects one of its members to serve as Chair.

Duties of the Board

  • Jurisdiction over the selection of all designers, programmers, and construction managers performing design services in connection with any building project for all public agencies under the jurisdiction of the Division of Capital Asset Management
  • ​Jurisdiction over the selection of all designers for Commonwealth Charter Schools
  • Determine the criteria for selection of finalists for design services. The board shall independently adopt procedures and regulations as necessary to implement the requirements of the statute. Such procedures and regulations may vary according to the class of project.
  • Ensure that applicants for design services are qualified and that they meet all legal requirements for selection
  • Review written applications from designers and select and rank finalists for appointment by the Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management
  • Disqualify from further consideration any designer, programmer or construction manager who has been determined by the board to have filed materially false information for any project for such time as the board determines is appropriate
  • Publish guidelines to assist public agencies not within the board's jurisdiction in the establishment of a professional and objective designer selection procedure
  • Access to all records of all public agencies concerning any applicant, or any project for which the applicant performed any services, for the purpose of verifying information submitted by the applicant, or for the purpose of evaluating the applicant's experience, ability and qualifications.

As with any similar public service, it is extremely important to maintain the integrity of the Board. Members must avoid the incidence of applications by their own firms before the Board and to review in advance with the State Ethics Commission at 617-727-0060 for any instances of conflict that might arise.

Candidates must have an active license, be members in good standing in their profession, with a well-rounded experience in building design and construction.

If you are interested in this opportunity, or have any further questions, please e-mail a pdf file containing a current cover letter and resume to AIA Massachusetts Executive Director John Nunnari at [email protected] by 5:00pm on Friday, April 9, 2021.


Deadline to apply: Friday, April 9, 2021 at 5 PM.

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