1. What flexibility does the SSST have with SDP language /and process?
  2. How do we organize the reporting process?
  3. Are signatures on the forms required?
  4. Can we accept electronic signature?
  5. What do I need to do if a prime contractor needs to change their SDP partner?
  6. Whose responsibility is it to check whether the partner(s) listed on a prime contractor’s SDP reporting form are certified by SDO or an SDO-recognized third-party certification organization?

  1. What flexibility does the SSST have with SDP language /and process?
    • Can we ask for Form #1 and Form #2 at the same time as part of the bid? Yes, the SSST may choose to ask for both forms; however, your RFR and form language must be updated to provide clear instructions.
    • Can we award more than 10% of the total evaluation points? Yes, the SSST can always award more than 10% of the total points to SDP, but it may never be less than 10% for large procurements.
    • What if an awarded contractor does not have any certified partners identified within 30 days of contract award? There may be times when contractors do not have certified partners identified at the start of the contract term.  The SSST and SSSL should work with the prime contractor to help identify potential business to business relationships their company may need over the course of the contract.  Departments should also direct contractors looking for certified partners to the SDO webpages at www.mass.gov/sdo for assistance in finding a compatible certified partner. Departments should clearly inform the contractor that they are contractually obligated to meet their SDP percentage of sales commitment by partnering with certified businesses on an annual basis.  Spending with certified partners must be documented on a quarterly (or whatever term required in the RFR) basis, and Departments reserve the right to verify stated expenditures with the certified businesses.  Contractors who fail to meet their SDP commitment will face contractual consequences, including termination, if the commitment is not met.
  2. How do we organize the reporting process?
    • Are commitments based on a percentage of revenue or sales? The commitment is a percentage (%) of annual sales.
    • Does Form #3 apply to all contracts, current and new?
      Form #3 is a recommended form created to standardize data collection by departments.  Departments may use their own forms, as long as they collect reports on SDP spending from contractors at least twice a year and ensure compliance with the contractors’ SDP commitments.
    • Is compliance with a prime contractor’s SDP commitment measured on an annual basis or for the entire contract duration?  Contractors must meet their spending commitments on a Massachusetts fiscal year basis.
  3. Are signatures on the forms required?
    • Yes, form #2 and form #3 require signatures. The SSST should determine whether they will accept electronic signature, or wet ink signatures only.
  4. Can we accept electronic signature?
    • Yes, it is the SSST’s decision to require additional wet ink signatures.
  5. What do I need to do if a prime contractor needs to change their SDP partner?
    • Prime contractors may meet their commitment by doing business with any current SDO certified business. They must submit the Form #3 report as required by contract, and must identify those businesses and amounts spent during that reporting period. Contractors do not have to commit to certain SDP partners, or request permission to change them. This is one of the benefits of this new process.
  6. Whose responsibility is it to check whether the partner(s) listed on a prime contractor’s SDP reporting form are certified by SDO or an SDO-recognized third-party certification organization?
    • It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that SDP partners listed on the reporting form are actually certified.  This check can be performed on the SDO website at www,mass.gov/sdo under “Directory of Certified Businesses.”  You can also contact wsdo@state.ma.us for assistance in determining a vendor’s certification status (in your email, please include the certification designation, e.g. MBE, VBE, etc., listed for the SDP partner by the prime).