BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, Goldstein Treasury Building, 80 Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland] Maryland's first Board of Public Works was created in 1825 (Chapter 166, Acts of 1825). A nine-member body, it was abolished three years later (Chapter 64, Acts of 1828). Popularly elected to represent four regional districts of the State, four Commissioners of Public Works were authorized by the Constitution of 1851 (Const. 1851, Art. VII, secs. 1-3). That board was replaced in 1864 by the present three-member Board of Public Works composed of the Governor, the Comptroller of Maryland, and the State Treasurer (Const. 1864, Art. VII, secs. 1-3). The Constitution of 1867 continued provisions for the Board (Const., Art. XII, secs. 1-3).

The Board of Public Works exercises the powers and duties prescribed in the Maryland Constitution or delegated to it by the General Assembly.

Expenditures of all sums appropriated through State loans authorized by the General Assembly must be approved by the Board of Public Works. Expenditures of all General Funds and other funds appropriated for capital improvements, except those allotted for State roads, bridges, and highways also must be approved by the Board.

Goldstein Treasury Building, 80 Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland, September 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


To meet temporary deficits in the Treasury, at any time between sessions of the General Assembly, the Board may borrow upon the credit of the State sums not to exceed $50,000. In addition, the Board may borrow upon the credit of the State total amounts not exceeding $1,000,000 in anticipation of the collection of taxes or other revenues, including proceeds from the sale of bonds. All such loans bear interest at a rate determined by the Board, and must mature and be repaid at or before the end of the fiscal year in which the money is borrowed (Const., Art. III, sec. 34).

Before any new or renewed lease for land, buildings, or office space may be executed by any department, board, commission, officer, or institution of the State, that lease is subject to the approval of the Board of Public Works. The sale, lease, or transfer of any real property belonging to any State agency or institution also must be approved and the conveyance signed by the Board and the highest official of the agency or institution. Where no agency or institution claims the property, the Board executes the conveyance. After review by the Secretary of Budget and Management, the Board also may designate the location of any State agency.

For administration of the State Public School Construction Program, the Board of Public Works is required to adopt rules, regulations, and procedures. It also approves the Program allocations paid to each county and Baltimore City (Code Education Article, sec. 5-301).

The Maryland Constitution requires the Board to meet in Annapolis on the first Wednesday of January, April, July, and October, and more often when necessary (Const., Art. XII, sec. 1). Usually, meetings are held every two weeks. Typically, meeting agendas include proposed expenditures of the Board of Public Works, the Department of General Services, the Department of Information Technology, and the Department of Transportation, as well as other agencies.

The Board of Public Works is assisted by the Procurement Advisory Council.

PROCUREMENT ADVISOR
The Procurement Advisor advises the Board of Public Works on procurement matters, develops and implements procurement regulations, and analyzes procurement problems and issues.

Appointed by the Board of Public Works, the Procurement Advisor also serves as staff to the Procurement Advisory Council.


OFFICE OF EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

[photo, Garden near Goldstein Treasury Building (view from Rowe Blvd.), Annapolis, Maryland] Goldstein Treasury Building, Room 117
80 Calvert St., Annapolis, MD 21401

The Executive Secretary of the Board of Public Works administers certain functions in connection with matters brought before the Board, including preparation and administration of the Board's operating budget, which contains grant programs to private agencies, institutions, colleges, and universities.

Garden near Goldstein Treasury Building (view from Rowe Blvd.), Annapolis, Maryland, August 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


For Board meetings, the Office of Executive Secretary prepares one of several agendas considered by the Board, and schedules the appearance of persons wishing to testify. The Office notifies all affected parties of actions taken by the Board and prepares, distributes, and maintains the minutes of each meeting. A library of tape recordings and transcripts of each meeting also is maintained.

WETLANDS ADMINISTRATION
Goldstein Treasury Building, Room 209
80 Calvert St., Annapolis, MD 21401

Anyone wishing to dredge or fill in State tidal wetlands must first secure a license from the Board of Public Works (Chapter 241, Acts of 1970). The Wetlands Administration receives applications for licenses and conducts required public hearings. The Wetlands Administrator recommends to the Board of Public Works whether a license should be issued and if so, under what terms and conditions. Licenses approved by the Board are issued by the Wetlands Administration.

Appointed by the Board of Public Works, the Wetlands Administrator coordinates the Tidal Wetlands Licensing Program with other State, local and federal agencies; environmental groups; and the general public (Code Environment Article, sec. 16-202).

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