On September 20, 2012, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed Executive Order No. 3-12 which reauthorizes the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity (formerly known as MBEC) as well as the City’s antidiscrimination policy and program for contracting and subcontracting opportunities on City contracts for minority business enterprises, woman business enterprises, and disabled business enterprises (M/W/DSBEs).
Some of the differences between Executive Order No. 3-12 and the prior Executive Orders on the same topic include the following:
- the prior term “good faith efforts” is replaced by a new term “best and good faith efforts”
- the prior term “commercially acceptable function” is replaced by the term “commercially useful function” which is borrowed from the regulations for the U.S. Department of Transportation DBE program
- OEO no longer certifies M/W/DSBEs but accepts certifications from other certifying agencies and maintains a a M/W/DSBE registry (this has been the case since March 2010)
- the two-step appeal process for bidders whose bids are rejected as non-responsive is eliminated and rejected bidders now have only a single and final appeal to the OEO Executive Director
Executive Order No. 3-12 applies to City of Phila. bids advertised and/or opened on or after September 4, 2012.
As always, contractors bidding for City contracts to which Executive Order No. 3-12 applies must carefully abide by the solicitation and commitment requirements of the City’s M/W/DSBE program, and should seek the assistance of experienced legal counsel if they believe that they will be unable to satisfy specified M/W/DSBE participation ranges, or if their bids are rejected as non-responsive for failure to satisfy the specified M/W/DSBE participation ranges and to show best and good faith efforts.
Executive Order No. 3-12 can be found here.