The California Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund SDWSRF program must be implemented in a manner consistent with the federal act. Among the requirements of the federal act is that designated projects conform with additional federal “cross cutting” laws, including the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise regulations. The objective of the federal DBE requirement is to provide meaningful opportunities for these businesses to participate in contracts and subcontracts for SDWSRF funded projects. The mechanism through which the SDWSRF funding recipient will fulfill this requirement is by incorporating DBE requirements in the bid solicitation for construction of the funded project, maintaining related documentation, and reporting to CDPH on these efforts.
The SDWSRF funding agreement for these designated will include DBE participation goals. Performance of good faith effort by the funding recipient and its prime contractor is the principal mechanism of measuring compliance with the DBE requirement. Funding recipients and prime contractors who document their meaningful actions to comply with good faith effort requirements will have met the requirement, rather than the participation level achieved.
Six Step Good Faith Effort [GFE]
- Ensure DBEs are made aware of contracting opportunities to the fullest extent practicable through outreach and recruitment activities. For Indian Tribal, State and Local and Government recipients, this will include placing DBEs on solicitation lists and soliciting them whenever they are potential sources;
- Make information on forthcoming opportunities available to DBEs and arrange time frames for contracts and establish delivery schedules, where the requirements permit, in a way that encourages and facilitates participation by DBEs in the competitive process. This includes, whenever possible, posting solicitations for bids or proposals for a minimum of 30 calendar days before the bid or proposal closing date;
- Consider in the contracting process whether firms competing for large contracts could subcontract with DBEs. For Indian Tribal, State and local Government recipients, this will include dividing total requirements when economically feasible into smaller tasks or quantities to permit maximum participation by DBEs in the competitive process;
- Encourage contracting with a consortium of DBEs when a contract is too large for one of these firms to handle individually;
- Use the services and assistance of the SBA, the Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce and the CalTrans Unified Certification Program; and
- If the prime contractor awards subcontracts, require the prime contractor to take the affirmative steps in paragraphs (1) through (5).