Participation by M/WBEs and EBEs in City Procurement
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose
The City’s M/WBE Program, originally enacted by Local Law 129 (2005), and codified in section 1304 of the New York City Charter and section 6-129 of the Administrative Code (Ad. Code), establishes goals for participation by minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs), women-owned business enterprises (WBEs), and emerging business enterprises (EBEs) as contractors and subcontractors in the categories of construction, standard services, professional services, and goods valued under $1 million. Local Law 129 (2005) also requires the Commissioner to establish and operate, on behalf of the City, a centralized program for the certification of MBEs, WBEs and EBEs for the purposes of establishing the eligibility of such businesses for participation in the programs and processes established pursuant to local law to ensure their meaningful participation in City procurement.
Local Law 1 of 2013 amends these provisions by, among other things:
- changing the participation goals for each of the four procurement categories (construction, standard services, professional services, and goods);
- removing the million dollar cap on construction, professional services, and standard services procurements for which a City agency may establish goals;
- lowering the cap from $1 million dollars to $100,000 for goods contracts for which a City agency may establish goals;
- modifying defined terms and adding new defined terms;
- changing the definition of “Graduate MBE and/or WBE” and “Graduate EBE” as well as adding new requirements that during the certification and recertification process, SBS determine whether a firm qualifies as a Graduate MBE, Graduate WBE or Graduate EBE and that SBS implement a process for applicable business entities to challenge such a determination as well as a process for having such a designation lifted;
- adding new division requirements regarding oversight of the M/WBE Program, the provision of technical assistance and the promotion of joint ventures;
- adding a new requirement that SBS perform site visits for at least 5% of new MBE and/or WBE as well as EBE certification applications in a given fiscal year; and
- modifying the criteria and procedures for SBS to utilize in determining whether firms certified as MBEs and/or WBEs by other governmental entities can be recognized as certified business enterprises by the City.
The proposed rule amendments to Subchapters B, D and E of Chapter 11 of Title 66 of the Rules implement the above provisions of Local Law 1 of 2013 and conform to the new requirements established by Local Law.
In a separate, simultaneously published proposed rule, DSBS is amending the goals in Section 11-61 of Chapter 11 of Title 66 of the Rules of the City of New York to match the new goals established by Local Law 1. The intent of Local Law 1 was to set goals corresponding to the availability of MBEs or WBEs in categories where a significant disparity between availability and utilization was identified in the Disparity Data Analysis. The goal identified by the Analysis for WBEs in the professional services category was 17 percent; however, due to a legislative drafting error, the goal enacted in Local Law 1 was incorrectly listed as 37 percent. To reflect the correct goal of 17 percent for WBEs in the professional services category, the Commissioner will be exercising the authority provided under Ad. Code § 6-129(d)(4) periodically to review the availability and utilization rates for MBEs and WBEs and, where appropriate, to revise the Citywide participation goals set forth in that section. Section 6-129(d)(4) also provides that DSBS submit the results of the review and any proposed revision to the goals to the Speaker of the City Council at least 60 days prior to publishing a rule that would revise the goals. DSBS has already provided the results of the review to the Council, and, as noted above, the Council has included them in the Local Law 1 Committee Report. DSBS has notified the Speaker of the proposed rulemaking and the 60 day period has since elapsed.