General Instructions For Filing Applications

Please read the instructions carefully before filing your application to the DSB.


  1. Before a designer can apply for a project within DSB jurisdiction, they must file a written “disclosure statement” in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7C, § 48. The statement provides the basis for the DSB informational database and verifies that the designer meets certain general qualification and ownership requirements detailed in M.G.L. c. 7C, §§ 44 and 48. To help firms meet this requirement, the Designer Selection Board provides an online registration system that can be accessed at the Designer Selection Network. Firms must register on this platform to submit the required statement; paper disclosure statement submissions are no longer accepted. As part of applying for a project, firms must verify that the information provided remains accurate and up-to-date or, if necessary, submit updated information.
  1. The Designer Selection Network enables registrants access to all DSB operations online.  All firms (prime and sub-consultant firms) are required to register using the attached instructions.

    Firms can update the disclosure form and develop an online profile.  Firms can add references to their account attached instructions. Registered firms will have full access to the platform to apply to DSB projects, select sub-consultants, search the database, compile teams, and respond to evaluations.

    The Designer Selection Network is used by public agencies and municipalities statewide to enter their evaluations for all public projects in Massachusetts. Attached instructions.

  1. DSB recommends that the principal who would be in charge of the project make sure that the form is complete including appropriate signature.  Unsigned applications will not be considered.
  1. Out of State Prime Firms MUST be registered with the Secretary of State.  Please attach (one copy only with Original application) firm’s State Registration Certificate – Registered to do business with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  1. When citing work performed by the applicant while employed by another firm, make certain said firm is properly identified including the individual's level of responsibility.
  1. By including a firm as a sub-consultant the applicant certifies that the listed firm has been advised that it was being included in the applicant's team and it has agreed to work on this Project should the team be selected.  It is a requirement that all applicants supply a signed DSB SC-A’s (Sub-Consultant Acknowledgement).  There can be no change in consultants from those named unless approved by user agency and reported to the Designer Selection Board (C.7C, §51)  It is a requirement that all applicants supply the signed document, attached to the application, by the listed sub-consultants stating that they are aware and agree to be nominated by said applicant. Failure to supply above documents may result in rejection of the application.
  2. It is a requirement that the Prime and Sub-Consultant personnel must be registered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in their respective disciplines and therefore, when applicable, the DSB requires registration in the disciplines listed in order to satisfy contract requirements.
  3. A person may not submit more than one application as a “prime” applicant on the same project.  The applications of any such applicant shall be considered disqualified.  This rule does not preclude a person applying as a “prime” applicant even though the applicant is also listed as a consultant on one or more other “prime” applications on the same project.  For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “person” means an individual, corporation, association, partnership, or other legal entity.
  4. When the Prime applicant is to fulfill any of the requested consultant roles in the advertisement, then that role shall be defined in the organization chart as the applicant. It should also be referenced in Section 7 (resume) and Section 8 (experience) such that it proves the applicant is skilled in supplying these roles on the project.
  5. Applicants are advised to apply only for those projects for which they are demonstrably qualified, as it reflects negatively on the applicant's credibility if the firm applies for every job advertised when only marginally qualified.
  6. Joint ventures are not encouraged.  However, they may be advantageous for complex building types in which the participants have a combination of unique skills with a previous successful record of working together.


Pursuant to M.G.L. C.7C, § 6, Executive Orders 526, 559 and 565, the Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), as designee of the Secretary of Administration and Finance, has developed the following goals and procedures to encourage full participation by minority business enterprises (MBEs) and women businesses enterprises (WBEs) (collectively MBE/WBEs) on contracts for design services entered into by DCAMM and other public awarding authorities with MBE/WBE Participation Programs.


MBE/WBE participation goals shall apply to the total  dollar value of all study and design contracts awarded for DCAMM projects:

The Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) participation goals are as shown in the public notice for each project.

Applicants must utilize both MBE and WBE firms whose participation, meets  the goals set for the Contract. The MBE/WBE goals must be met within the list of requested prime and sub-consultants or by the prime partnering or teaming with an MBE/WBE firm.  All applicants must indicate in the prime firm’s application how they, or their consultants will meet these goals and will be evaluated on that basis.

Applications from MBE and WBE firms as prime consultant are encouraged. Applicants that are themselves MBE or WBE certified will be required to bring participation by a firm(s) that holds the certification which is not held by the applicant to the project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to utilize multiple disciplines and firms to meet the MBE/WBE goals. Consultants to the prime can team within their disciplines in order to meet the MBE/WBE goal, but must state this relationship on the organizational chart.

If the contracting design firm is not itself an MBE or WBE, then MBE/WBE participation credit will be given for the value of any work under the contract that is actually performed by each MBE or WBE partner, consultant, subcontractor or subconsultant (hereafter “subcontractors”) to the Designer.


DCAMM reserves the right to reduce or waive the MBE/WBE participation goals stated above for a particular project prior to the receipt of applications to the Designer Selection Board upon its own initiative or upon the request of any applicant if DCAMM determines that it is not feasible for a non-MBE/WBE design firm to meet the MBE/WBE goals established for the project based upon any or all of the following: (i) actual MBE/WBE availability, (ii) the geographic location of the project to the extent related to MBE/WBE availability, (iii) the contractual scope of work, (iv) the percentage of work available for subcontracting to MBE/WBEs, or (v) other relevant factors as determined by DCAMM.

The MBE/WBE participation goals established for each project are set forth in the Designer Selection Board Project Criteria published for that project. After a project is advertised, requests from prospective applicants to reduce or waive the MBE/WBE participation goals for that project, with all supporting documentation, must be submitted no later than 10 days prior to the project submission deadline date listed in the public notice or as revised on the DSB website or in the designer selection portal.  Such request to reduce or waive the participation goals must include the reason(s) for the request and documentation supporting the request as further described below and  be submitted to DCAMM’s Compliance Office by an email to: with a hard copy mailed to DCAMM Compliance Director, One Ashburton Place, 15th Floor, Boston, MA 02108. Except as provided below, DCAMM will not consider any request to reduce or  waive the MBE/WBE participation goals for a project if the email request is received after this deadline.


A minority owned business shall be considered an MBE only if it has been certified as a minority owned business by the Supplier Diversity Office (“SDO”) (formerly SOMWBA). A woman owned business shall be considered a WBE only if it has been certified as a woman owned business by SDO. Certification as a disadvantaged business enterprise (“DBE”), certification as an MBE/WBE by any agency other than SDO, or submission of an application to SDO for certification as an MBE/WBE shall not confer MBE/WBE status on a firm.

Minority owned businesses and woman owned businesses are strongly encouraged to submit applications for certification as MBE/WBEs to SDO. Information is available from SDO, One Ashburton Place, 13th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 (617) 502-8831 and at


The current SDO Certification Letters showing that the MBE/WBE is certified in the area of work for which it is listed on the application must be submitted for each and every MBE and WBE firm listed on the application, and must be submitted with the application.

Not later than five (5) working days after the Designer receives notice of selection for the advertised project, (A-5 Letter), the Designer shall submit to DCAMM’s Compliance Office (i) a Letter of Intent for each of the M/WBEs that will perform work under the contract, and (ii) a Schedule of MBE/WBE Participation. The form of Letter of Intent and Schedule of MBE/WBE Participation are included in this application package.

Within five (5) working days after receipt of the Letters of Intent, DCAMM’s Compliance Office shall review and either approve or disapprove the Designer’s submissions. Without limitation, DCAMM reserves the right to reject the Letter of Intent of any MBE/WBE that is to perform work in a category that is not listed in its SDO certification, or if the price to be paid for the MBE/WBE Work as stated in the Letter of Intent does not bear a reasonable relationship to the value of such work as reasonably determined by DCAMM. If the Designer has not submitted an appropriate Schedule of MBE/WBE Participation and appropriate Letters of Intent and SDO certification letters establishing that the MBE/WBE participation goal for the project will be met, the Designer may be considered ineligible for award of the contract and DCAMM may award the contract to the second ranked Designer, subject to that Designer’s compliance with these conditions.

DCAMM reserves the right to reduce or waive the MBE/WBE participation goals for a project prior to the final selection of a designer, provided that no such reduction or waiver shall be granted except under the following circumstances: the Designer must establish and document that it has been unable to obtain commitments from MBE/WBE subcontractors sufficient to meet the MBE/WBE goals for the project after having made a diligent, good faith effort to do so; all such documentation must accompany the Designer’s request to reduce or waive the MBE/WBE participation goal submitted and shall include, at a minimum, the following:

  • A list of all items of work under the contract that the Designer made available for subcontracting to MBE/WBEs. The Designer shall identify all items of work that the Designer did not make so available and shall state the reasons for not making such work available for subcontracting to MBE/WBEs. The Designer shall also demonstrate that, where commercially reasonable, tasks were divided into units capable of being performed by MBE/WBEs.
  • Evidence that the Designer sent written notices soliciting proposals to perform the items of work made available by the Designer for subcontracting to MBE/WBEs to all MBE/WBEs qualified    to perform such work. The Designer shall identify (i) each MBE/WBE solicited, and (ii) each MBE/WBE listed in the SDO directory under the applicable work category who was not solicited and the reasons therefor. The Designer shall also state the dates notices were mailed and provide a copy of the written notice(s) sent.
  • Evidence that the Designer made reasonable efforts to follow up the written notices sent to MBE/WBEs with telephone calls or personal visits in order to determine with certainty whether the MBE/WBEs were interested in performing the work. Phone logs or other documentation must be submitted.
  • A statement of the response received from each MBE/WBE solicited, including the reason for rejecting any MBE/WBE who submitted a proposal.
  • Evidence of efforts made to assist MBE/WBEs that need assistance in obtaining insurance, or lines of credit

with suppliers if the inability of MBE/WBEs to obtain, insurance, or lines of credit is a reason given for the Designer’s inability to meet the MBE/WBE goals.

 • The Designer also shall submit any other information reasonably requested by DCAMM to show that the Designer has taken all actions which could be reasonably expected to achieve the MBE/WBE participation goals.

The Designer may submit any other information supporting its request for a waiver or reduction in the MBE/WBE participation goals, such as evidence that the Designer placed advertisements in appropriate media and trade association publications announcing the Designer’s interest in obtaining proposals from MBE/WBEs, and/or sent written notification to MBE/WBE economic development assistance agencies, trade groups and other organizations notifying them of the contract and the work to be subcontracted by the Designer to MBE/WBEs.

Requests by a selected Designer to reduce or waive the M/WBE participation goals for a particular project based upon the Designer’s inability to obtain commitments from MBE/WBE consultants or subcontractors sufficient to meet  the MBE/WBE goals after having made a diligent, good faith effort to do so must be received by DCAMM not  later than ten days before the application deadline.

The Designer’s compliance with these procedures and goals is a prerequisite for award of the contract, provided that DCAMM reserves the right to waive minor defects in documents and extend time limits in its sole discretion.

May 2021

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