• What is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

    A business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more socially-and economically-disadvantaged individual(s).  Additionally, non-profit firms that are organized to promote the interests of the physically or mentally disabled also are eligible for MBE certification.  Under current State law, an individual is presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged if that individual belongs to one of the following groups: Women, Black/African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians/Native Americans, Disabled Individual (MBE Program only).  Persons who own and control their business, but are not members of one of the above groups, also may be eligible for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification if they establish their social and economic disadvantage. Disabled individuals and non-profit organizations serving the physically or mentally disabled may also apply for MBE certification. A determination of whether an individual meets MBE eligibility criteria is made on a case-by-case basis.

    How do I become MBE certified?

    Please contact The Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE), a division of the State of Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), or access MBE/DBE Certification Applications for the application process.

    Is a minority vendor required to be MDOT certified to participate as a sub-contractor on projects that are advertised requesting bids?

     Yes, if the MBE sub-contractor will be reported towards the established MBE goal.   Otherwise, the minority vendor does not have to be MDOT certified to be part of an Anne Arundel County Public Schools project. Most Anne Arundel County Public Schools projects have an established MBE goal and sub-goals.

     What are the advantages of becoming MDOT certified?

    Becoming certified as an MBE and/or DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) will expose your firm to opportunities on State and local government projects. The names of all certified MBE and DBE firms appear in MDOT's MBE/DBE Directory. The Directory is available online and is widely used by State departments, local governments, contractors, and the public.  

    Where can I go to find out about procurement activities at Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS)?

     Visit AACPS Purchasing or eMaryland Marketplace at www.ebidmarketplace.com where all bid announcements are advertised.

    Does AACPS have opportunities for minority and small businesses?

    Yes, there are many opportunities for minority and small businesses. Visit our bidder's list application and register online to be added to the AACPS MSBE vendors list or register with www.ebidmarketplace.com where all bid announcements are advertised. The AACPS MSBE Regulation requires a MSBE participation goal of a minimum of 15% of the total value for all AACPS contracts for materials, supplies, equipment, and services, excluding materials of instruction, during any fiscal year. Specifically, more opportunities can be found through subcontracting in the maintenance and construction area.

     If I am bidding as a Prime Contractor and am MBE certified, do I have to meet the MBE goals and sub-goals?

    MBE prime contractors may count their participation on contracts with MBE goals for up to 50% of the established MBE contract goal and 100% of any one contract sub-goal. Prior to this regulation’s change, MBE prime contractors were prohibited from self-performing any portion of the MBE contract goals.

    What happens if my business does not meet the stated MBE goals and sub-goals for a project?

    A detailed statement of the efforts made by the contractor at least 10 days prior to bid opening day will be requested. This detailed statement should report efforts made to make personal contact with MBE firms identified. If a determination is made that the apparent low bidder did make a good faith effort based upon a review of the documentation submitted, a waiver may be approved.

    Are Attachments A & B of the MBE documents required to be submitted with the proposal on bid day?

    Yes, completed Attachments A & B are required to be submitted on bid day. Failure to include these documents may cause the submittal to be determined non-responsive.

    Is there any help available for completing the MBE forms for a bid?

    Call the MSBE Office at 410-222-5131. While we cannot complete the forms for you, we can provide some valuable answers to questions and explain the purpose of the forms.  

    How do I find out the results of a bid?

    It is recommended that you attend both the pre-bid meeting and the bid opening. It provides a unique opportunity to meet other prospective bidders and perhaps the apparent low bidder who may be looking for qualified subcontractors to work with them. Bid results are also posted here when they become public.  

    What should I do if I am having trouble being paid by a general contractor?

    Begin by contacting the AACPS Project Manager for the project. If you still have questions, you may then contact the MSBE Office. You will need to provide details on outstanding invoices. A copy of the general contractor’s payment bond may be requested. The request must be made in writing to the project’s buyer located in the Purchasing Office.  

    Can I change my MBE participation once the contract is approved?

    The general contractor may add MBE participation, including a new MBE subcontractor, at any time during the course of a project by completing and submitting a revised Attachment B and a corresponding Attachment D to the MBE Officer. Refer to the section in the Bid Specification document that requires changes to be communicated to the MSBE Office. In order to remove a minority subcontractor, the general contractor must provide documentation of a performance issue to the MSBE Office. The removal request will be reviewed and either accepted or rejected by the MBE Officer. The general contractor will be expected to maintain the total level of MBE participation on the project.   

    If a general contractor does not meet the promised percentages on Attachment B at the completion of the project, what are the repercussions?

    The contractor must provide written documentation to explain the differences between the award and achieved percentages. The AACPS MSBE Office will review and confirm the assertions made in the documentation. The achievement of the MBE goals will be considered in the overall evaluation of a contractor’s performance.

    Where do I find copies of the specifications?

    Please visit AACPS current bids to view the documents and plan holders.