Montgomery County has expanded the recognized Minority, Female, Disabled-owned business (MFD) certifications beyond the program administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and will now also recognize the certifications issued by the Maryland/District of Columbia (MD/DC) Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Under Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s procurement reform legislation passed by the County Council earlier this year, the Department of General Services Director was given authority to approve other minority business certification programs in addition to MDOT’s.
In March, Leggett announced the Council’s approval of Executive Regulation 19-09AM, Revisions to Procurement Regulations, marking the successful completion of his commitment to overhaul the County’s procurement process in his first term. The regulation is changing Montgomery County contracting to make it easier for businesses to respond to contracting opportunities with the County. In 2008, Leggett announced a plan to improve the procurement process.
“I made a pledge to make government more responsive, more accountable and more effective, and we are seeing the results of the improved procurement process to achieve these goals,” said Leggett. “These changes are making it easier for businesses of all sizes to compete for County government contracts.”
In addition to expanding the recognized MFD certifications, the bill also:
• Increased thresholds for direct open market purchases by departments from a cap of $5,000 to $10,000; for informal procurements managed by departments from a cap of $25,000 to $100,000; and for formal procurements from $25,000 to $100,000;
• Updated the Living Wage Law so that it applies to employees of all County contractors, removing an exemption for businesses with 10 or fewer employees; and
• Streamlined the contractor selection and contract negotiation processes.
The changes took effect April 1.
“The MD/DC Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certifications are the first to be added to those approved by Montgomery County under the new procurement legislation,” said David Dise, director of the county’s Department of General Services, which manages the County’s small, local and minority business programs. “Acceptance of their certifications is a reflection of these organizations’ high standard of excellence and the County Executive’s commitment to integrity in the County’s contracting practice.”
Leggett’s full 10-point plan to improve the procurement process included eliminating bid request and bid subscription fees, making it easier for businesses to respond to contracting opportunities with the County; more outreach to MFD businesses; and more information on the County website.
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