1. What is the Supplier Diversity Program?
  2. What does the Operational Services Division (OSD) do?
  3. What is the primary goal of the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP)?
  4. Who are the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP) participants?
  5. How does the SDP Work?
  6. What are the departmental benchmarks for spending with M/WBEs and SDVOBEs?
  7. How does the SDP help you get business with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? 
  8. Are there other procurement programs for businesses that I may participate in?
  9. Who are Supplier Diversity Program Officers?
  10. How is the Operational Services Division fostering SDP goals?
  11. What is the Supplier Diversity Office and what do they do?
  12. How do I become a certified vendor?
  13. What types of certified SDP partners are acceptable for inclusion in an SDP Plan?
  14. As a newly SDO-certified business (M/WBE or federally-certified SDVOBE), how do I learn about access to state contracting opportunities?
  15. Does my company get additional points for being a certified M/WBE or SDVOBE as a prime bidder?
  16. If my company will not get any additional points for being a certified M/WBE, SDVOBE , how will I get to do business with the Commonwealth?
  17. Do Supplier Diversity Program partners have to be SDO certified, and/or federally certified SDVOBE?
  18. Does a vendor with a DBE certification qualify for SDP participation?
  19. What are Supplier Diversity Program Plans?
  20. Why Did OSD make changes to the SDP Plan policy?
  21. When is a bidder required to submit the Declaration of SDP Partners Form 2 in the RFR process for Statewide or large (over $150,000) department-specific procurements?
  22. Are certified M/WBEs and federally-certified SDVOBEs required to submit an SDP Plan Form when responding as a prime bidder?
  23. Could Prime bidders get points on their SDP Plan(s) for including vendors applying for certification but not yet SDO-certified or federally-certified as a SDVOBE?
  24. How is the plan evaluated?
  25. What types of certified vendor partnerships are acceptable in the SDP plan?
  26. How do I find an SDP Partner?

  1. What is the Supplier Diversity Program?

    The Supplier Diversity Program (SDP), housed in the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) within the Operational Services Division (OSD), was established by Governor Deval Patrick on September 15, 2010 pursuant to Executive Order 524. The SDP established policies to promote the awarding of state contracts in a manner that develops and strengthens certified Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MBE/WBEs). On March 8, 2013, Governor Patrick signed Executive Order 546 to include the utilization of federally certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises (SDVOBE) in the state contracting process as participants in the SDP. As a result, bidders for state contracts are strongly encouraged to develop creative initiatives to help foster business relationships with OSD’s Supplier Diversity Office (SDO)-certified M/WBEs, and/or federally certified SDVOBEs to promote access to state contracting opportunities. For more information about the “Program” please visit our website at www.mass.gov/sdp.
  2. What does the Operational Services Division (OSD) do?

    OSD is the Commonwealth’s central procurement office responsible for establishing statewide contracts for goods and services. These contracts must be used by Executive Departments, but are also available for use by all public and quasi-public entities including cities/towns, the Legislature, the Judiciary, independent authorities and eligible not for profits. OSD is also responsible for the Office of Vehicle Management, the Audit and Quality Assurance Unit, the Supplier Diversity Office, the Commonwealth Print Shop, the Commonwealth’s Surplus Property program and Comm-PASS.
  3. What is the primary goal of the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP)?

    The Supplier Diversity Program was established to promote equality in the state contracting process by ensuring full participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises (SDVOBEs) in all areas of state contracting for goods and services. The Commonwealth Supplier Diversity Program’s (SDP) mission is to increase business opportunities for M/WBEs and SDVOBEs, and to diversify our contractors.
  4. Who are the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP) participants?

    Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) certified MBE, WBE, and federally-certified SDVOBE firms are the participants on the business-side of the program. Commonwealth Executive Branch Departments are also participants in the SDP, but on the contracting side of the program.
  5. How does the SDP Work?

    Procurement policies and guidance are provided to assist departments in implementing SDP objectives for all procurements over $150,000, and Statewide Contracts. In addition, the Operational Services Division sets annual departmental benchmarks for spending with M/WBEs and SDVOBEs. For more information, access the complete Supplier Diversity Program procurement policy in OSD’s Procurement Information Center (PIC) at www.mass.gov/osd.
  6. What are the departmental benchmarks for spending with M/WBEs and SDVOBEs?

    Each year the Operational Services Division reviews benchmark recommendations for departments. The current benchmarks for spending with M/WBEs, and SDVOBEs are:
    • MBE          6%
    • WBE        12%
    • SDVOBE   3%
  7. How does the SDP help you get business with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

    The SDP provides several support services and resources to help M/WBE and SDVOBE firms do business with the Commonwealth, including training workshops to help firms better understand the procurement and bidding process and how to maximize their certification status. Certified vendors can bid on contracts as a prime bidder/contractor, or participate as a subcontractor or ancillary partner. The SDP team has worked with the other units within the Operational Services Division to create and implement SDP policies and procedures that ensure that the SDP program is easy to understand and participate in, properly promoted and incorporated in every large or statewide solicitation and contract. For a complete list of SDP training opportunities please visit the SDP Website.
  8. Are there other procurement programs for businesses that I may participate in?

    Governor Patrick signed Executive Order 523 on June 29th, 2010 establishing a Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP) in Massachusetts. The mission of the SBPP is to support the existence and growth of small businesses in Massachusetts by directing state spending for certain non-construction goods and services to SBPP-participating vendors in Comm-PASS . For more information about this program please visit our website at www.mass.gov/sbpp.

    If you are a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (SDVOBE), and would like to learn about the certification processes please contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at www.vetbiz.gov.
  9. Who are Supplier Diversity Program Officers?

    Highly ranked individuals are assigned as Supplier Diversity (SD) Officers within each department and are responsible for the development and coordination of SDP objectives pertaining to benchmarks and expenditures with M/WBEs and SDVOBEs when contracting for goods and services. SD Officers are the contact person and main source of information for upcoming contracts at the department level. For a complete list of SD Officers please visit our website at www.mass.gov/sdp.
  10. How is the Operational Services Division fostering SDP goals?

    The Operational Services Division is responsible for establishing procurement policies and procedures for goods and services as well as overseeing the procurement process for all Executive Branch Departments. OSD also focuses on prime vendors partnering with SDO-certified, and /or SDVOBE vendors and has established additional procurement policies to assist state departments and the M/WBE and SDVOBE community in this effort.
  11. What is the Supplier Diversity Office and what do they do?

    Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) (formerly known as the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance – SOMWBA) is part of the Operational Services Division (OSD). The SDO certifies businesses as Minority-owned (MBE) and/or Women-owned (WBE) Business Enterprises or Minority and Women Non-Profit Organizations, and provides information and resources to businesses that qualify for the various programs that the SDO oversees, all aimed at providing business opportunities for certified businesses.  Consult the SDO website for more information about the SDO at www.mass.gov/sdo.
  12. How do I become a certified vendor?

    To become certified as a MBE, WBE or M/WBE, you must meet all of the SDO application requirements. For information about these application requirements, consult with SDO State Certification website . The SDO does not certify Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOBEs). For more information about this process please contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at www.vetbiz.gov. Certification as a MBE, WBE, M/WBE and/or SDVOBE qualifies a business to participate in the Supplier Diversity Program.
  13. What types of certified SDP partners are acceptable for inclusion in an SDP Plan?
    • WBE – Women Business Enterprise
    • MBE – Minority Business Enterprise
    • M/WBE – Minority Women Business Enterprise
    • M/NPO – M/Non-Profit Organization
    • W/NPO – W/Non-Profit Organization
    • SDVOBE – Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (federally-certified)
  14. As a newly SDO-certified business (M/WBE or federally-certified SDVOBE), how do I learn about access to state contracting opportunities?

    Businesses that have become certified as a M/WBE or SDVOBE and that have never done business with the Commonwealth should consider attending an SDP vendor training program, for which details can be found on the SDP webpage at: www.mass.gov/sdp.
  15. Does my company get additional points for being a certified M/WBE or SDVOBE as a prime bidder?

    No. It is the Commonwealth’s policy not to award points for a bidder based on their own certification status for statewide or department procurements. All prime bidders are required to make an SDP commitment as part of their response to a large or statewide RFR.
  16. If my company will not get any additional points for being a certified M/WBE, SDVOBE , how will I get to do business with the Commonwealth?

    Like any interested bidder, SDO-certified and SDVOBE companies can bid on any of the Commonwealth’s available solicitations. SDO-certified and SDVOBE companies also have the opportunity to partner with prime bidders in order to help them meet the SDP requirements in their bid. Another way to do business with the Commonwealth is through the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP). See question #8 for more details on the SBPP.
  17. Do Supplier Diversity Program partners have to be SDO certified, and/or federally certified SDVOBE?

    Yes. Active certification is required. For a complete list of SDO certified vendors, please visit our website at www.mass.gov/sdo. Each SDO certified vendor will be able to provide a certification letter to their partner that they have received from our office.

    A federally-certified SDVOBE vendor can be found on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website at www.vetbiz.gov. For information about becoming certified or for bidders interested in finding certified partners, please visit www.mass.gov/sdo.
  18. Does a vendor with a DBE certification qualify for SDP participation?

    No. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification is a federal certification specifically for transportation contracts.
  19. What are Supplier Diversity Program Plans?

    The Supplier Diversity Program Form 1: Plan Commitment requires prime contractors to commit a percentage of contract sales that must be spent with certified businesses through the life of the contract.  This form is required for departmental procurements over $150,000 and Statewide Contracts.

    To gain a better understanding of how to develop an SDP plan, please visit our website for a complete list of trainings, or watch the webinar How to Submit an Effective SDP Plan.
  20. Why Did OSD make changes to the SDP Plan policy?

    OSD recognized the need for a more streamlined process for Commonwealth contractors and departments to meet the goals of the Supplier Diversity Program. This new policy simplifies the process considerably, and requires that only successful bidders (and not all bidders) provide details of their SDP partnering opportunities within 30 days of the bid award.  The policy also:
    • Simplifies the bidding and bidder evaluation processes by only requiring bidders to submit and procurement teams to evaluate a percentage of sales commitment,
    • Expands the pool of eligible vendors in the Supplier Diversity Program Plan to include Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises,
    • Eliminates the requirement for vendors to select a specific category in which SDP spend will occur,  and
    • Requires submission of the SDP Plan Form (SDP Form 2 Declaration of SDP Partners) identifying Certified Partner(s) only after contract award, so that all bidders can concentrate their efforts in responding to the RFR’s scope of work during the bidding period.
  21. When is a bidder required to submit the Declaration of SDP Partners Form 2 in the RFR process for Statewide or large (over $150,000) department-specific procurements?

    Only the awarded contractor(s) resulting from a Statewide or large (over $150,000) department-specific procurement are required to complete the Declaration of SDP Partners Form 2. This form gives the contracting department additional information on the intended SDP partners of the prime contractor, and also acknowledges and reaffirms the percentage of sales commitment made as part of its RFR response. The form must be completed within 30 days (or according to the RFR terms) of execution of the contract. Prime contractors can choose from all SDO-certified, and/or federally- certified SDVOBE vendors when seeking business partners to fulfill their SDP commitment to the contracting department, and their certified partners may change throughout the life of the contract. To access the list of all SDO-certified and/or federally- certified SDVOBE vendors go to www.mass.gov/sdo.
  22. Are certified M/WBEs and federally-certified SDVOBEs required to submit an SDP Plan Form when responding as a prime bidder?

    Yes. Even if a company is an SDO-certified M/WBE, or federally-certified SDVOBE, the company is still required to submit an SDP Form 1: Plan Commitment for statewide and large procurements. If that certified prime bidder is awarded a contract, the bidder must then submit additional forms (SDP Form 2: Declaration of SDP Partners, and SDP Form 3: SDP Spending Report) that verify they are fulfilling their percentage of sales commitment made in Form 1.
  23. Could Prime bidders get points on their SDP Plan(s) for including vendors applying for certification but not yet SDO-certified or federally-certified as a SDVOBE?

    No, the partner must already be an SDO-certified vendor, or federally-certified SDVOBE.
  24. How is the plan evaluated?

    Departments must assign at least 10% of the total RFR evaluation points to the SDP percentage of sales committed in the SDP Form 1: Plan Commitment, and must develop the criteria for awarding those points before the evaluation process begins.  The percentage of sales offered on a bidder’s SDP Plan form will, when compared to other bidders’ SDP Plan forms, determine the points awarded, in accordance with the established evaluation scoring criteria.
  25. What types of certified vendor partnerships are acceptable in the SDP plan?

    All types of partnerships between SDO-certified or federally-certified SDVOBE businesses which involve the payment for goods or services delivered to the prime contractor from a certified vendor are acceptable. The purpose of the SDP plan is to facilitate and verify business to business relationships between a prime contractor and SDO-certified vendors. Examples of the types of relationships are generally defined as:
    • Subcontracting
      Subcontracting is a partnership in which an SDO-certified M/WBE, or federally-certified SDVOBE individual, business or organization has a contract or formal written agreement to provide services and/or commodities to a Commonwealth prime contractor.
    • Ancillary
      Ancillary services represent any use of an SDO-certified M/WBE, or federally-certified SDVOBE with or without a written agreement. Ancillary services are generally not directly related to the core services or commodity being delivered to a department. As an example, a bidder providing counseling services who purchases office supplies or equipment maintenance from an SDO-certified company is an example of an ancillary agreement.
  26. How do I find an SDP Partner?

    There are resources available to assist prime bidders in finding potential SDO-certified and/or federal-certified SDVOBE partners for developing their Supplier Diversity Plans. Some of these resources include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. The most current Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) certified M/WBE List can be found at www.mass.gov/sdo
    2. For further information on SDO certification, contact the office at (617) 502-8831 or email us at wsdo@state.ma.us
    3. For a list of federally-certified SDVOBE, please visit the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at www.vetbiz.gov