Minority Business Enterprise - FAQs
The MBE program is a state procurement program developed to encourage minority-owned firms to participate in the state procurement process. The program creates contracting opportunities specifically for certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).
A certified MBE is a company that has obtained their MBE certification through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). For more information on MBE certification, visit mdot.maryland.gov/certify.
As a certified MBE, you company will be eligible to satisfy MBE goals placed on contracts, whereas, non-certified companies cannot satisfy these goals. Because it is the prime-contractor’s responsibility to identify MBE sub-contractors to meet these goals, interest in using your company on a contract may increase.
The first step to participating in the program is to get certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). Once you receive certification, it your company’s responsibility to identify opportunities to participate on contracts and build relationships with the prime contractors who are building teams to bid on these projects.
To become a certified MBE, you company must complete the MBE application process through the Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). To learn more about this process, visit mdot.maryalnd.gov/certify.
As a certified MBE, your company will be placed in the public database of state-certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). Being on this list increases the chances that your MBE will be noticed by companies are looking for MBEs to work with them on private and public contracting opportunities.
The state has established a 29% MBE goal. Each procurement agency is required to structure its procurement procedures to award a minimum of 29 % of the agency’s total dollar value of all procurement contracts to certified minority business enterprises. This goal does not apply to individual contracts; rather, it is an overall procurement goal to be achieved by the end of the fiscal year.
No. Certification does not guarantee contract work to a MBE.
The Procurement Review Group (PRG) Administrator sets goals based on the type of work being requested and the availability of certified MBE companies to perform the work. The PRG Administrator uses the official database of certified MBEs on the MDOT website to identify companies that are certified with the proper NAICS codes to perform the work being requested.
No. Goals are placed on individual contracts on a case-by-case basis following an evaluation and subsequent recommendations by the Procurement Review Group (PRG).
The solicitation documents shall indicate the MBE goal, if any, placed on the specific contract.
All procurements in excess of $15,000 are solicited through the state’s online procurement system, eMaryland Marketplace. Companies can search the database of open opportunities or, by registering, companies can receive email notifications of opportunities when they are posted. To learn more about eMaryland Marketplace, review the eMM Frequently Asked Questions available on the homepage at www.emarylandmarketplace.com.
No. Certification is not required to participate on a contract as a sub-contractor; however, a non-certified MBE will not count toward satisfying and MBE goal on a contract.
Prime contractors are responsible for identifying qualified sub-contractors to work on projects; however, the state does provide resources to help prime contractors identify potential sub-contractors:
- MBE Directory – As a certified MBE, your business will be listed in the public directory of certified MBEs. Prime contractors are encouraged to use this directory to identify certified MBEs.
- Pre-Bid Meetings – All prime contractors and sub-contractors are encouraged to attend all pre-bid meetings to discuss upcoming projects. Pre-bid meetings provide opportunities for prime-contractors to meet MBE companies.
MBE documentation must be submitted by all bidders at the time of bid submission. Following award of the project, the MBE Payment Summary Report, as well as the MBE Unpaid Invoice Report, are to be provided by the prime contractor on a monthly basis. In addition, all MBE subcontractors are required provide the MBE Unpaid Invoice Report on a monthly basis to the assigned Compliance Officer.
At the conclusion of each fiscal year, the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) compiles a report summarizing the MBE program for the preceding fiscal year. This report is posted to GOMA’s website at goma.maryland.gov.
No. A MBE prime contractor may satisfy up to 50% of the established MBE goal. The remainder of the goal must be satisfied by certified MBE sub-contractors.
Annotated Code of Maryland
State Finance and Procurement Article, Division II, Title 14, Subtitle 3 – Minority Business Participation
Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 21.11.03
Title 21 – State Procurement Regulations, Subtitle 11, Chapter 3 – Minority Business Enterprise Policies
All firms are expected to meet performance standards established by contract specifications. This relates to the quality of work done, the submission of reports and written information in a timely manner, and the firm's compliance with applicable regulations and laws. Once a MBE has been awarded a sub-contract, the MBE is responsible for submitting verification of all payments received to the contracting agency. This includes the payment amount and date received.
Yes. However, a MBE prime is still responsible for identifying MBE sub-contractors to fulfill some or all of the established MBE goal.
The prime contractor must first meet the MBE goals established on the contract by seeking out and using certified MBEs. Once work begins, the prime contractor is responsible for all project activities, including those of subcontractors.
Regular monitoring assures that contractual items are performed in accordance with specifications. Monthly reports (such as payroll, cost, time estimation and progress reports) must be submitted by the prime contractor. When changes are needed, the general contractor must get approval from the agency project manager. Any changes in MBE participation must be approved.