BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


Maryland's first Board of Public Works, a nine-member body, was created in 1825 and abolished three years later (Chapter 166, Acts of 1825; Chapter 64, Acts of 1828). The Constitution of 1851 provided that four Commissioners of Public Works would be popularly elected to represent four regional districts of the State (Const. 1851, Art. VII, secs. 1-3). The Constitution of 1864 established 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 Constitution or delegated to it by the General Assembly. The Board approves the expenditures of all sums appropriated through State loans authorized by the General Assembly. The Board also approves the expenditures of all General Funds and other funds appropriated for capital improvements, except those allotted for State roads, bridges, and highways.

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 to meet temporary deficits in the Treasury. 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).

The Board approves every new lease or renewal for land, buildings, or office space before such contracts are executed by any department, board, commission, officer, or institution of the State. The sale, lease, or transfer of any real property belonging to any State agency or institution 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.

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

The Constitution requires the Board to meet in Annapolis on the first Wednesday of January, April, July, and October, and more often when necessary. Usually, meetings are held every two weeks.


OFFICE OF EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

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. For Board meetings, the office 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. The Board's operating budget, which contains grant programs to private agencies, institutions, colleges, and universities, is prepared and administered by this office.

The Procurement Advisor advises the Board on procurement matters, and serves as staff to the Procurement Advisory Council. Appointed by the Board of Public Works, the Procurement Advisor develops and implements procurement regulations, and analyzes procurement problems and issues.

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 program with other State, local and federal agencies, and with environmental groups and the general public (Code Environment Article, sec. 16-202).

INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
State Education Building
200 West Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

The Interagency Committee on School Construction was established in 1971 to supervise public school construction in Maryland (Code Education Article, sec. 5-301). The State Superintendent of Schools chairs the Committee.

By December 7, each school system in the State annually submits to the Interagency Committee its capital improvement program for the following fiscal year with an updated five-year plan. In consultation with local school board staff, the Committee either approves, defers, or modifies a school system's proposal. The Committee then submits a consolidated statewide capital improvement program with recommendations to the Board of Public Works, which acts at a public meeting each January. Funding for approved allocations is made by the General Assembly.

Appropriations for the expense of administrative operations are included in the annual budgets of the Board of Public Works, the State Department of Education, the Department of General Services, and the Office of Planning. The three participating agencies furnish staff to the Committee.

Governor's Coordinating Offices
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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2000

July 18, 2000   
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