Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The COMMBUYS system is the Commonwealth’s electronic Market Center supporting online commerce between government purchasers (The Commonwealth) and business (The University).

COMMBUYS also serves as a repository for RFR’s and required proposal documents for some agencies’ proposals. In some cases, COMMBUYS may be the repository for these documents only, and not the submission method.
In all cases when an RFR is posted in COMMBUYS, applicants are expected to keep up to date with any amendments that may be issued under the RFR.

COMMBUYS RFR’s and required proposal documents may be accessed without a user account. Open solicitations may be found under Open Bids at the bottom of the page under supplier activities if you are not logged into your CommBuys account or under Bids/Open Bids if you are logged in. If you are logged in, you can narrow down the search for your solicitation by using the “gear” icon in the top right of the page then clicking on advanced search. Select document type, then click bid solicitation, and you can search under the bid solicitation number. Applicants should download all attachments and save them electronically prior to editing them.

If COMMBUYS is the submit method, then individual Principal Investigators need to register in COMMBUYS as a vendor.

To register as a vendor, please provide the below information to Kim Lowney at and you will be set up with an account:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • A log in ID, password and security question will be set for you.

Once log in information is obtained, you may log in to a bid, and post the required documents to this bid.

Instructions for Vendors Responding to Bids


COMMBUYS refers to all solicitations, including but not limited to Requests for Proposals (RFP), Invitations for Bid (IFB), Requests for Response (RFR), Requests for Quote (RFQ), as “Bids.”  All responses to Bids are referred to as “Quotes.”

Steps for Bidders to Submit a Quote

  1. Launch the COMMBUYS website by entering the URL ( into the browser.
  2. Enter Bidder login credentials and click the Login button on the COMMBUYS homepage. Bidders must be registered in COMMBUYS in order to submit a Quote.  Each Vendor has a COMMBUYs Seller Administrator, who is responsible for maintaining authorized user access to COMMBUYS.  
  3. Upon successful login, the Vendor home page displays with the Navigation and Header Bar as well as the Control Center.  The Control Center is where documents assigned to your role are easily accessed and viewed.
  4. Click on the Bids tab
  5. Clicking on the Bid tab opens four sections:
  • Request for Revision
  • Bids/Bid Amendments
  • Open Bids
  • Closed Bids
  1. Click on the blue Open Bid hyperlinks to open and review an open bid or use the gear icon then click advanced search. Select open bids as the document type. Type in your bid solicitation number, and you will be brought directly to the bid you want to apply under, then select the blue hyperlink to the bid to enter it.
  2. A new page opens with a message requesting you acknowledge receipt of the bid.  Click Yes to acknowledge receipt of the bid.  Bidders should acknowledge receipt to receive any amendments/updates concerning this bid.
  3. After acknowledgement, the bid will open.

The top left half of the page contains the following information:

  • Purchaser
  • Department
  • Contact for this bid
  • Type of purchase
  • Open Market
  • Blanket
  • Pre-Bid Conference details (if applicable)
  • Ship-to and Bill-to addresses
  • Any attachments to the bid, which may include essential bid terms, response forms, etc.

The top right half of the bid includes the following information:

  • Bid Date
  • Required Date
  • Bid Opening Date – date the bid closes and no further quotes will be accepted
  • Informal Bid Flag
  • Date goods/services are required
  1. The lower half of the page provides information about the specific goods/services the bid is requesting.  
  2. Click Create Quote to begin.
  3. The General tab for a new quote opens.  This page is populated with some information from the bid.  Fields available to update include:
  • Delivery days
  • Shipping terms
  • Ship via terms
  • Is “no” bid – select if you will not be submitting a quote for this bid
  • Promised Date
  • Info Contact
  • Comments
  • Discount Percent
  • Freight Terms
  • Payment Terms

It is important to note that the bid documents (RFR and attachments) may specify some or all of these terms and may prohibit you from altering these terms in your response.  Read the bid documents carefully and fill in only those items that are applicable to the bid to which you are responding.

Update these fields as applicable to the bid and click Save & Continue to save any changes and create a Quote Number.
The page refreshes and messages display.  Any message in Red is an error and must be resolved before the quote can be submitted.  Any message in Yellow is only a warning and will allow processing to continue.

The following messages are received:
Terms & Conditions is not acknowledged – to resolve this, click on the Terms & Conditions tab and accept the terms. Your quote has not been submitted – information message; no action required

  1. Click on the Terms & Conditions Tab.  This tab refers to the terms and conditions that apply to this bid.  The terms and conditions must be accepted before your quote can be submitted.  If your acceptance is subject to any exceptions, those exceptions must be identified here.  Exceptions cannot contradict the requirements of the RFR, or required Commonwealth standard forms and attachments for the bid.  For instance, an RFR may specify that exceptions may or will result in disqualification of your bid. OPAS will work with OPAM if there are unusual terms and conditions that need to be agreed to in advance, and may edit this field, but in order to get the quote to save in CommBuys, please check off that you accept the terms and conditions.
  2. Click the Items tab.  The Items tab displays information about the items requested in the bid.  To view additional details about an item, click the item number (blue hyperlink) to open.
  3. The item opens.  Input all of your quote information and click Save & Exit.
  4. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION:  If documents uploaded in your quote response contain confidential information (security sensitive, EFT, W9, Commonwealth Terms and Conditions), please let OPAS know so that OPAS may mark documents as confidential. Marking them as confidential removes the viewing option for the administrator, so documents will look like they are missing in the CommBuys system.
  5. Click on the Attachments Tab. Follow the prompts to upload and name all required attachments and forms and bid response documents in accordance with the instructions contained in the solicitation or bid documents.  After uploading each individual file or form, click Save & Continue.  After you have uploaded all required documents click Save & Exit.  Be sure to review your attachments to make sure each required document has been submitted.
  6. OPAS will submit proposals through COMMBUYS after review.

It is the responsibility of all principal Investigators to load all required forms into the COMMBUYS system, prior to the proposal being logged into OPAS.

Once all forms have been loaded into COMMBUYS, the proposal will be considered complete, and can be logged into OPAS once the Kuali proposal is received.

Some forms may need to be filled out by OPAS, so these forms would be exempted from being loaded into CommBuys at the time the proposal is logged into OPAS.

Please note:
Some Commonwealth of Massachusetts proposals require forms that OPAS does not have the expertise to fill out and will need to be filled out by other offices on campus. PI’s should coordinate with the contacts below to fill out these forms in advance of the 5 day lead time for proposal submission to OPAS. The PI may need to discuss their statement of work with these contacts, so that the contacts are able to fill out these forms to the best of their ability in relation to the PI’s statement of work, and have sufficient time to do so prior to the proposal deadline.

Supplier Diversity Plan:
John Healey Unified Procurement Services Team,;

Environmentally preferable products form:
Ezra Small, Campus Sustainability Manager, Physical Plant,