P-12

Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education

Questions and Answers

RFP #10-014
Title: New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students


Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE):

  1. Do the 17% MBE and 12% WBE participation goals apply to the:
    • total amount of the contract, or
    • the total of the subcontractors and vendors under Purchased Services (line 2) and Supplies, Materials, and Printing (line 3), or
    • Any subcontractor or vendor on the budget.

    Answer: The bidder is required to use New York State certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) for an amount greater or equal to seventeen percent (17%) Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and twelve percent (12%) Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) of the total dollar amount of the contract. Any certified M/WBE firm used on this contract will count towards the goals. For additional information and a listing of currently certified M/WBEs, see www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov external link icon.

  2. In the document titled “M/WBE Cover Letter” on page 22 of the Submission Documents, it states that:

    In an effort to promote and assist the participation of certified M/WBEs as subcontractors and suppliers on this project for the provision of services and materials, the bidder is required to comply with NYSED’s participation goals, The goals are 10% Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and 10% Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE). These goals can be met by any combination of MBE and WBE participation.

    The above appears to conflict with the RFP document itself which states that the goals are 17% MBEs and 12% WBEs. Which are the correct participation goals?

    Answer: The correct goals for this RFP is an amount greater or equal to seventeen percent (17%) Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and twelve percent (12%) Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) of the total dollar amount of the contract.

  3. The M/WBE Cover Letter also seems to indicate that a dually certified vendor could both count towards the MBE participation goal as well as the WBE participation goal. In other words is it correct to assume that there can be overlap between the vendors in the MBE and WBE categories, resulting in a total M/WBE’s participation goal that is less than the sum of 17% MBE and 12% WBE?

    Answer: A dually certified vendor could count towards either the MBE participation goal or WBE participation goal but not both. The bidder is required to use New York State certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) for an amount greater or equal to seventeen percent (17%) Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and twelve percent (12%) Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) of the total dollar amount of the contract.

  4. Although a non-profit is neither an MBE nor a WBE because it is not a business owned by anybody, could it be considered either an MBE or WBE based on its EEO Staffing Plan?

    Answer: No, M/WBE firms must be certified through Empire State Development. Article 15-A, Section 310, provides the definition for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and additional information can be found at http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/Program%20Mandates/SummaryofArticle15A.htm external link icon

  5. Could a publically traded company be considered an MBE or WBE? If so, what criteria would be used to make that determination?

    Answer: An on-going independent business owned, operated and controlled by minority group members and/or women is eligible for New York State Certification. Additional questions regarding M/WBE certification can be found at http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/Certification/Overview/FAQonCertification.htm external link icon.

    Article 15-A, Section 310, provides the definition for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and information can be found at http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/Program%20Mandates/SummaryofArticle15A.htm external link icon.

  6. Is there a waiver, exemption, or adjustment to the M/WBE participations goals if the total amount for subcontractors and vendors is less than 17% of the total budget. Most of the grant is for providing technical assistance by staff, and salaries and benefits comprise the majority of the budget.

    Answer: Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation includes any and all services, materials and supplies purchased from New York State certified minority and women owned firms. The percentage goals established for this RFP are based on the overall availability of M/WBEs certified in the particular areas of expertise identified under this RFP.

    The goals are targets reasonably attainable by means of applying every good faith effort to solicit active participation by enterprises identified in the Empire State Development (“ESD”) directory of certified businesses, which can be viewed at: http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/ external link icon

    When there are certified M/WBE firms available to provide services, materials and supplies, waivers will not be permitted. Please contact the person listed under M/WBE Matters for assistance in meeting the requirements of this RFP.

  7. Are there any centralized ways to put out bids to certified M/ WBEs? For example, are there any specific listservs, electronic posting locations, etc., where we could solicit the business of certified M/WBE's in a certain industry?

    Answer: There are over 8000 M/WBE firms found at http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/ external link icon. Please contact the firms to solicit the business of certified M/WBE's in a certain industry. For assistance, you may contact the M/WBE Contact person listed in the RFP.

  8. What if the only vendor certified as a M/WBE we are able to secure for a particular service is more costly than another vendor that is not a M/WBE, and the M/WBE vendor is needed to help us reach the M/WBE participation goals? Does SED prefer that the vendor be a certified M/ WBE even if the services might be more expensive?

    Answer: The percentage goals established for this RFP are reasonably attainable and based on the overall availability of M/WBEs certified in the particular areas of expertise identified under this RFP. The M/WBE firm can be used for services, supplies and materials to meet the required goals of this RFP.

Fiscal:

  1. What is the approved indirect cost rate for a non-profit? How is that rate determined?

    Answer: NYSED did not set a restriction on the indirect cost rate in this RFP. This is a best value competitive procurement, with 30% of each bidder's final score based upon lowest submitted costs. NYSED reserves the right to determine if the indirect cost rate submitted in the cost proposal is reasonable.

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Last Updated: December 7, 2010