The Maryland Port Administration's (MPA) Office of Fair Practices (OFP) manages the MPA's Minority/ Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (MBE/DBE). One of the goals of this initiative is to maximize the participation of small and minority business enterprises on all MPA contracts.
Maryland's MBE regulations require agencies to structure their procurements to try to achieve an overall minimum of 25% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts directly or indirectly from all certified Minority Business Enterprises. It further requires that agencies attempt to achieve a minimum of 7% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts directly or indirectly from certified African-American-owned businesses, and 10% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts directly or indirectly from certified women-owned businesses.
OFP staff, as members of the Procurement Review Group (PRG), regularly meet with MPA procuring departments to review and assess upcoming MPA procurements for supplies, services, maintenance, construction and architectural/engineering contracts to determine an MBE goal and subgoals appropriate for each contract.
Along with the bid/ solicitation package a bidder or offeror shall submit with its bid or proposal:
If bidders or offerors make a good faith effort to achieve the MBE participation goal and conclude that they are unable to achieve it, they must submit (Form A - PDF file) stating the amount of MBE participation they intend to achieve and requesting a waiver of the remainder of the goal, and (Form B - PDF file) with their bids or proposals.
If the bidder or offeror fails to submit these forms with the bid or offer as required, the Procurement Officer shall deem the bid non-responsive or shall determine that the offer is not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award.
Within ten (10) working days of receiving notice that it is the apparent awardee or from the date of actual award, whichever is earliest, the apparent low bidder must submit an Outreach Efforts Compliance Statement (Form C - PDF file), and the Subcontractor Project Participation Statement (Form D - PDF file) to the procuring unit per COMAR 21.11.03.10. (Waiver - PDF file) If bidders or offerors have requested a waiver of the certified MBE participation goals on the contract, documentation of their good faith efforts per COMAR 21.11.03.11 must be submitted to the procuring unit within this ten-day period.
If the apparent awardee fails to return each completed document within the required time, the Procurement Officer may determine that the apparent awardee is not responsible and, therefore, is not eligible for the contract award. If the contract has already been awarded, the award is voidable.
For detailed information on the MPA's MBE Program, contact the MPA's Office of Fair Practices at 401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, via fax (410) 631-1061 or by phone at 410-385-4556.
During the life of the contract, successful vendors are required to submit a report of MBE activity and MBE payment documentation by the tenth of each month for the previous calendar month. These reports are to be submitted even in months when there was no MBE activity. Vendors are required by State Finance and Procurement Article §15-226 and COMAR 21.10. 08 to pay undisputed MBE payments within ten (10) days of receipt of progress or final payments by the State. Vendors are held accountable for prompt payments and are encouraged to pay MBE subcontractors as required.
The MBE Monthly Report should be mailed to the MPA's Office of Fair Practices at 401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.
Recent changes in State procurement law and policies have made it unambiguous that the documentation of payments to MBE subcontractors is a high priority for the State. MBE payment verification has become a critical area of concern. Therefore, the Maryland Port Administration's efforts to track, monitor, and verify reported payments to MBE subcontractors have taken on a new energy. COMAR 21.10.08 sets forth the obligations of the prime contractor and subcontractors, and the remedies for delinquency or nonpayment of undisputed amounts on State contracts. MBE subcontractors are encouraged to communicate to the Office of Fair Practices, the MBE program administrators at MPA, any problems, concerns or late payments of undisputed amounts.
The MBE Report of Payment Received form is due by the 5th of each month throughout the life of the contract, whether or not there has been subcontractor activity. MBE subcontractors are held accountable for timely reporting and are encouraged to provide verification of payment documentation as requested.
The MBE Report of Payment Received forms should be mailed to MPA's Office of Fair Practices at 401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.
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