Goldstein Treasury Building, Room 213
80 Calvert St.
Annapolis, MD 21401


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 three-member Board of Public Works composed of the Governor, the Comptroller of the Treasury, and the State Treasurer. (Const. 1864, Art. VII, secs. 1-3).

The Board of Public Works exercises such powers and duties as are prescribed in the Constitution or delegated to it from time to time by the General Assembly. The Board approves the expenditures of all sums appropriated through State loans authorized by the General Assembly, as well as the expenditures of all general and other funds appropriated for capital improvements except those appropriated for State roads, bridges, and highways.

The Board may borrow upon the credit of the State, at any time between the sessions of the General Assembly, 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 the 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, State 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. It also may designate the location of any State agency, after review by the Secretary of Budget and Management.

The Board of Public Works is required to adopt and promulgate rules, regulations, and procedures for the administration of the State Public School Construction Program. It also approves the allocations which are to be paid to each of the counties and Baltimore City (Code 1957, Articles 15A, 23, 27, 31, 41, 43, 73B, 78A, 94A; Education Article; Estates and Trusts Article; Environment Article; Natural Resources Article; State Finance and Procurement Article; State Government Article; Transportation Article).

The 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, secs. 1-3). Usually, meetings are held weekly.


Goldstein Treasury Building, Room 213
80 Calvert St.
Annapolis, MD 21401

The 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.

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

Anyone wishing to dredge or fill in State 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 or not 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).

Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies

Maryland Manual On-Line

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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