Minority Business Enterprise Compliance
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program?
In 2002, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals enacted policy to create the Minority Business Enterprise Program to encourage minority-owned firms to participate in the Judiciary’s procurement process. The current MBE policy requires a review and assessment of its procurements for maintenance, IT (hardware & software), janitorial, security, furniture, office supplies and printing to determine a MBE participation goal appropriate for each contract.
In furtherance of this initiative the Office of Minority Business Enterprise was established to administer the Judiciary’s Minority Business Program under the management of the MBE Liaison who is responsible for coordinating outreach efforts and reviewing Judiciary contracting procedures to ensure compliance.
What is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)?
To be eligible for certification as a MBE firm, a business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Additionally, non-profit firms that are organized to promote the interests of the physically or mentally disabled are also 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: African-American; Hispanic-American; Asian-American; Native-American; Women; or Disabled Persons, who are not members of one of the groups, also may be eligible if they own and control their business and establish their social and economic disadvantage. A determination of whether an individual meets MBE eligibility criteria is made on a case-by-case basis.
How does the Maryland Judiciary determine which businesses can participate on Maryland Judiciary contract?
- Must be certified by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE);
- and must be certified to provide services
How does the Maryland Judiciary establish the goals for minority business participation?
Every attempt is made to establish realistic and achievable MBE goals. Individual contract goals are set based upon the dollar value of the project, the availability of MBEs to perform the work to be subcontracted, and the availability of certified MBEs in the location where the work will be completed.
What types of work are available?
Opportunities to participate in the procurement of goods and services are varied and minority participation is encouraged on all contracts. Although contracts with MBEs have been for subcontract work, the Maryland Judiciary strongly encourages MBEs to become prime contractors.
What is the main advantage of becoming certified as an MBE?
Certification as an MBE provides greater exposure for work opportunities on Maryland Judiciary contracts.
As an MBE, can a firm be assured of getting contracts and subcontracts?
No, MBE certification does not guarantee work to an MBE; however, it does enhance an MBE’s exposure to contract opportunities.
What is expected of an MBE once a contract is awarded?
All firms are expected to meet performance standards as 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 the Judiciary’s MBE policy.
Does the prime contractor have any responsibility in the process?
Yes, the prime contractor must meet the MBE goal established on the contract by seeking out and utilizing 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 must be submitted by the prime contractor and the Office of Minority Business Enterprise must approve any changes in MBE participation.