The Massachusetts Port Authority and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority are each seeking disclosure counsel services to help the authorities craft bond documents, financial reports, and advise on securities law matters.

The request for proposals are a routine procedure as current disclosure counsel contracts for both authorities will expire shortly. Edwards, Angell, Palmer, & Dodge LLP is MassPort’s current disclosure counsel. Betsy Taylor, MassPort’s finance director, said it is time for the authority to review potential candidates.

“It has been a number of years since we bid it and that’s why we’re bidding it again,” she said.

Immediate tasks for selected law firms may not include bond deals as the agencies do not anticipate selling debt in the near term, unless a refunding opportunity arises. The MWRA expects to enter the market in the fall while MassPort anticipates issuing bonds in 2009.

The deadline for MWRA submissions is 11 a.m. EST on Feb. 19 and MassPort will accept proposals up until 4 p.m. EST on Feb. 20. Interested parties can access MassPort’s RFP by e-mailing John Affuso at jaffuso@massport.com and obtain the MWRA’s RFQ beginning tomorrow by contacting Kevin Feeley, the authority’s director of procurement at 617-788-2575.

MassPort’s selection will help prepare preliminary and official statements related to bond deals and work on the authority’s annual financial statements and its comprehensive annual financial report as well as provide legal advice on security issues and disclosure requirements.

Qualifications include experience and past performance with municipal bond transactions, knowledge of federal aviation law, federal highway legislation, and passenger facility charges, as well as the experience of key personnel. The authority will consider cost of legal services, but within the context of other qualifications.

“Although cost will be a factor in selecting the firms to provide disclosure counsel services, Massport will not select a firm solely on the basis of the lowest cost proposed,” according to the RFQ. “Massport will select the firm it determines is best qualified to provide the necessary services.”

The authority anticipates holding oral interviews on March 4 and expects to offer a three-year contract, which MassPort may extend for two successive one year periods.

MassPort oversees Logan and Worcester Regional Airport, the Tobin Memorial Bridge, and the Port of Boston. The authority has $1.23 billion of outstanding general airport revenue debt and $190 million of outstanding passenger facility charge debt.

The MWRA provides 2.5 million people across 61 communities with 215 million gallons of water a day. The authority has roughly $5.6 billion of outstanding debt.


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