Section 61: Powers and duties of supplier diversity office
Section 61. (a) SDO shall adopt regulations and policies for the establishment and management of the office's certification process, including regulations and policies governing the streamlining, approval, denial or revocation of any such certification.
(b) SDO shall seek to develop and maintain a directory of certified minority, women and veteran businesses within the commonwealth, and shall, from time to time, notify such businesses of the programs and services available to them, whether from public or private sources, or from local, state or federal agencies.
(c) SDO may, subject to approval by the state purchasing agent, establish its own programs and policies and seek from any official or agency of the commonwealth or its political subdivisions, information and assistance necessary to carry out its functions and duties; and all officials, agencies or political subdivisions of the commonwealth shall supply such information or assistance.
(d) SDO shall receive assistance from state agencies including, where consistent with existing law, commitments that such agencies do a limited amount of contracting and subcontracting with minority or women or veteran businesses. SDO shall assist minority, and women and veteran businesses in making use of any special programs which may be operated by the state or by various departments and agencies of the federal government.
(e) SDO, through the state purchasing agent, shall coordinate its activities with those of other offices, and shall assist minority and women and veteran businesses in their dealings with federal agencies and with state departments and agencies. SDO shall also provide assistance to all cabinet secretaries and departments, in evaluating economic activities of their offices to determine how their offices may be of assistance in providing fair opportunities for minority and women businesses.
(f) SDO may work with lending institutions, insurance companies, and other private businesses in the commonwealth to encourage the formation of seed money for facilitating the starting-up and expansion of minority, women and veterans businesses. SDO may provide assistance to minority, women and veterans businesses in their efforts to obtain loan money and operating capital from private and public lenders.
(g) SDO may seek to increase the amount of financial assistance available to minority and women businesses from private financial institutions; and may, from time to time, sponsor conferences, workshops or other informational programs.
(h) SDO shall seek to encourage voluntary assistance programs by which nonminority, non-women and non-veteran business employees are loaned to minority, women and veteran businesses or by which minority, women and veteran business persons are taken into viable business ventures to acquire training and experience in managing business affairs.
(i) SDO may encourage state contract awarding authorities to seek to increase the incidence of joint ventures between nonminority state contractors and minority and women and veteran contractors, by specifically pointing out that such arrangements would constitute one method of partially meeting affirmative action requirements imposed upon both nonminority state contractors and the state. The director of affirmative action shall be kept informed of actions taken under this provision. SDO shall follow advertisements for construction work by public bodies in the commonwealth, shall notify minority and women and veteran general contractors and subcontractors of the bid opening dates for the approximate amount of the contract and subcontract work being bid, may assist them in securing bonds and in bidding for that construction work and shall initiate a program to help qualified minority persons and women to get started as small business firms in the construction field by helping to arrange joint ventures with qualified general contractors and subcontractors and by arranging for administrative and accounting assistance to help them carry out their subcontract and general contract obligations during the period of contract performance.
(i1/2) SDO shall promulgate regulations to encourage and facilitate participation on public projects for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses interested in and capable of providing construction and design services on public construction and design projects. For the purposes of this subsection, "service-disabled veteran-owned small business'' shall mean a business that is verified by the federal government's Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-461, and determined to be a service-disabled veteran-owned small business concern in accordance with 38 CFR Part 74 and Pub. L. 111-275.
(i3/4) SDO shall, every 3 years and in consultation with the department of veterans' services, establish goals for participation of service-disabled, veteran-owned business enterprises in all areas of state procurement contracting, including contracts for public construction, design services and commodities and service. In calculating such goals, the secretary shall base the determination on an understanding of the pool of service-disabled, veteran-owned business enterprises available for participation.
(j) SDO shall, through the state purchasing agent, submit an annual report to the general court on the minority and women businesses which it assists, the type of services which it renders, the difficulties it encounters. The report may include recommendations for legislative or executive action.
(k) SDO shall, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, impose administrative penalties on an applicant for certification or recertification that knowingly provides false or misleading information on its application or in support of its application for certification or recertification as a minority- or women- or veteran-owned business, or on a person who fails to comply with any provision of any regulation or approval issued or adopted by the agency or of any law which the agency has the authority or responsibility to enforce.
(l) The director shall consult with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance on the establishment of an affirmative marketing program pursuant to section 6 of chapter 7C. The affirmative marketing program shall be established for the purpose of ensuring the fair participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses on capital facility projects and state assisted building projects. The affirmative marketing program shall establish participation goals for minority-owned and women-owned business on capital facility projects and state assisted building projects. Participation goals for minority-owned business and women-owned business shall be based upon the broadest and most inclusive pool of available minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses interested in and capable of performing construction work and design services on such capital facility projects and state assisted building projects. The director and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall meet on a quarterly basis to determine the status of implementation of the affirmative marketing program and what further steps both agencies deem necessary to achieve the purposes of section 6 of chapter 7C and this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, the terms "capital facility project'' and "state assisted building project'' shall have the same meanings as found in section 6 of chapter 7C.
(m) In connection with the affirmative marketing program established pursuant to section 6 of chapter 7C, SDO shall regularly review and, where necessary, modify its certification process to ensure that it operates effectively, and shall report annually to the secretary of the executive office for administration and finance regarding these matters.
(n) SDO shall be responsible for the overall management, monitoring, and enforcement of the affirmative marketing program as it relates to minority owned businesses and women owned businesses participation on state assisted building projects. The director may appoint a program director to assist in program development, coordination of program operations and compliance with program goals and objectives. The program director shall also have responsibility for monitoring compliance regarding minority owned businesses and women owned businesses participation on state assisted building projects, addressing program violations and coordinating enforcement activities.
(o) The director shall develop a written procedure by which participation goals, for an individual state assisted building project, may be adjusted for minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses or both; but, the adjustment shall be based upon the actual availability of minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses, the geographic location of the project, the scope of work of the capital facility project or other relevant factors.
(p) The director shall develop a written waiver procedure by which, at any time before the award of a contract, it may be determined that compliance with the participation goals is not feasible and by which the participation goals on a state assisted building project may be reduced or waived. Waiver shall be granted only upon a showing that good faith efforts have been made to comply with the participation goals.
(q) The director and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall by March 15 of each year submit to the joint committee on state administration and regulatory oversight, the senate committee on ways and means, the house committee on ways and means, the clerk of the house, and the clerk of the senate a report on the performance of the affirmative marketing program for the preceding year. The report shall, at a minimum, show the name and address of each such minority owned business and women owned business, its designation as a minority-owned or women-owned business, the contract or subcontract price, a description of the work performed on the contract by class of work, and project type, and shall show separately the total number of contracts awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses as a percentage of the total number of contracts awarded and as a percentage of the total contract price.
(r) The director shall adopt regulations necessary to implement this subsection.
[ Subsection (s) added by 2016, 219, Sec. 4 effective August 10, 2016.]
(s) The SDO shall, every 2 years and in consultation with the Massachusetts Office on Disability, establish goals for participation of individuals with disabilities in all areas of state procurement contracting. Participation goals may be met by contracting or subcontracting with businesses that hire, or identify and recruit with the intent to hire, qualified applicants with disabilities. SDO shall provide assistance to the executive offices in determining opportunities for contracting with businesses that hire persons with disabilities to meet the participation goal set forth in this paragraph, including contractors and subcontractors providing goods and services under multi-year contracts or grants funded by agencies within the executive offices.
SDO shall file an annual report with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate on or before October 31 on the progress made toward meeting the participation goal set forth in this paragraph.