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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD BY THE BOSTON WATER AND SEWER COMMISSION CONCERNING ITS PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SHELTERED MARKET PROGRAM (SMP)

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD BY THE BOSTON WATER AND
SEWER COMMISSION CONCERNING ITS PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SHELTERED MARKET PROGRAM (SMP) ON MAY 9, 2024.

Pursuant to its Enabling Act, Chapter 436 of the Acts of 1977, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission will hold a public hearing commencing at 6:00 p.m., on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Second Floor Training Room, 980 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, for the purpose of giving interested persons an opportunity to present data, views or arguments relative to the establishment of the Sheltered Market Program (SMP). Under the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Acts of 2023, signed into law by the Governor on March 29, 2023, further extending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law until March 31, 2025, this hybrid meeting will also be conducted virtually via ZOOM.

PROPOSED SHELTERED MARKET PROGRAM

Following the findings of the Disparity Study conducted by BBC Research & Consulting in 2020, the Commission developed a Sheltered Market Program (SMP) to address the disparities in the use of minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) and women-owned business enterprises (WBEs) in government contracting.

Please note that the SMP will be limited to good and services where disparity in the utilization of disadvantage business enterprise have been found. The SMP will not apply to construction contracts.

SMPs are authorized under Section 18 of the Uniform Procurement Act, M.G.L., Chapter 30B. Section 18 provides that once an SMP is authorized by the governing body of an agency, the agency’s chief procurement officer will present proposed written procedures at a properly noticed public hearing which detail the process for soliciting certain procurements from not fewer than three disadvantaged vendors. Disadvantaged vendors eligible for SMP participation include certified minority businesses, woman-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses defined in M.G.L. Chapter 7, Section 40N, as well as businesses certified by another government body’s sheltered market program.

The written procedures governing the Sheltered Market Program must specify the types of contracts which will be included, as well as other requirements set forth in the statute. The types of contracts covered must be those that were identified as areas of disparity in the Disparity Study.

For the procurement of supply or services in the amount of one thousand dollars but less than ten thousand dollars, the receipt of written or oral quotations from no fewer than three certified disadvantaged vendors customarily providing such supply or service and who have been certified by the City of Boston’s and or / the State’s Supplier Diversity Office. For contracts in amounts more than ten thousand dollars that are limited to the Sheltered Market Program, responses from at least three certified and qualified vendors must be received. SMP procurements that do not receive at least three responsive and responsible submissions by the submission deadline, the procurement will restart following the same procedure. The advertisement for goods or services must state that the contract will be awarded under the Sheltered Market Program, and the type of disadvantaged vendor must be noted.

A disadvantaged vendor may only have one active, current contract through an SMP at any given time, and will not be awarded more than three SMP contracts within a one-year period. No contract shall be awarded under a sheltered market program for a term exceeding three years, including any renewal, extension, or option.