Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am a subcontractor. The prime contractor has not paid me, what can I do? 
    Answer: File a stop notice with the Board of Public Works (213-978-0262). The Board of Public Works will withhold the amount of money that is owed to you from the prime contractor’s retention. When you have been paid, you may notify the Board of Public Works and release the stop notice.
  2. I am submitting a proposal on a Personal Services contract. If there is no Mandatory Subcontracting Minimum (MSM), why must I perform a Business Inclusion Program (BIP) Outreach?
    Answer: Per the specification requirements, the Department of Public Works is committed to ensuring full and equitable participation by minority, women, small. emerging, disabled veteran, and other businesses in the provision of all goods and services to the Department on a contractual basis. Respondents for contracts must demonstrate compliance with the indicators relating to an active outreach program to obtain participation by MBEs, WBEs, SBEs, EBEs, DVBEs, and OBEs. Failure to demonstrate a good faith effort will render the bid non-responsive.
  3. How do I know if a publication is acceptable?
    Answer: The Helpful Hints link lists acceptable publications. If you would like to use another publication, please call the Subcontractor Outreach & Enforcement Section, so that someone may check to see if your publication would be acceptable.
  4. What is an OBE?
    Answer: An OBE is the classification for a company how holds no other certification, such as, Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs), Woman-owned Business Enterprises (WBEs), Small Business Enterprises (SBEs), Emerging Business Enterprises (EBEs), and Disabled Veteran-Business Enterprises (DVBEs).
  5. What is the difference between a DBE and a MBE or WBE requirements?
    Answer: A Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) is a certified DBE subcontractor used in federally funded projects for the City’s DBE program. At the time of Acceptance, these federally funded projects will be penalized 100% for illegal substitutions. The City uses MBE and WBE certified subcontractors on City funded projects under the MBE/WBE/OBE Subcontractor Outreach program. At the time of project acceptance, these City funded projects will have a 10% penalty for illegal substitution, illegal reduction, and unapproved subcontractor issues. Revised 05/12/04
  6. How many emails must I send out for Indicator 4?
    Answer: Email notifications must be sent to each of the selected work areas each of the selected work areas to available MBEs,WBEs, SBEs, EBEs, DVBEs and OBEs for each anticipated work area to be performed. The notification must be performed using the BAVN’s BIP Outreach system. Bidders are required to send notifications to a sufficient number of MBE, WBE, SBE, EBE, DVBE and OBE firms in each work area chosen, as
    determined by the City. What is considered sufficient will be determined by the total number of subcontractors registered on the BAVN in each specific work area.
  7. How do I substitute a subcontractor?
    Answer: A request for substitution of any Subcontractor, must be made in writing with an explanation as to why the substitution is being made. In addition to, the Contractor shall conduct a Good Faith Effort prior to requesting any substitution. The Contractor shall contact each of the following: certified WBE, certified MBE, certified SBE, certified EBE, certified DVBE, and OBE sub-bid prospects from each trade for which the sub-bid/subcontracting
    work is available and document the following for submittal to the awarding authority. Documentation should include, the name of the company contacted, the contact person,
    telephone number, date and time of contact. The response for each item of work that was solicited, including dollar amount and the reason for selection or rejection of each sub-bid prospect.
  8. For DBE projects, why do I have to fill out the bid proposal and 15 GC forms?
    Answer: The City uses the bid proposal to document your contractual obligation to use the subcontractors that you list, including DBE and OBE subcontractors. Caltrans requires that their federal form, the 15 GC, must be filled out, including DBE subcontractors only.
  9. Will I fail BIP Outreach if I do not meet the MBE and WBE percentages?
    Answer: No. The MBE and WBE percentages are anticipated participation levels. You must show adequate outreach efforts documenting your efforts to obtain the MBE and WBE percentages.
  10. Will I be deemed non-responsive if I do not meet the Mandatory Subcontracting Minimum (MSM)?
    Answer: The Mandatory Subcontracting Minimum is a requirement. You may be deemed non-responsive if you do not obtain the Mandatory Subcontracting Minimum.
  11. How are the MBE/WBE and MSM levels set?
    Answer: The Bureau of Engineering project manager sets these levels based on the potential subcontracting opportunity for a particular work area in the City of Los Angeles area.
  12. When is BIP required?
    Answer: The BIP is required for all contracts that must be advertised, unless the department receives a waiver from the Mayor’s Office. The BIP requires all respondents to contracting opportunities on City-funded projects to preform subcontractor outreach to all available
    MBE/WBE/SBE/EBE/OBE firms which could perform a portion of the scope of work required in the RFP/RFB/RFQ prior to submission of their RFP/RFB/RFQ response to ensure that a maximum effort is made to recruit subcontractors.