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ODOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
Supportive Services Program Guidelines

Supportive Services Program Guidelines in PDF format 

 

 I. GOAL

 
The Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) primary goal for the DBE Supportive Services Program (DBE SSP) is to assist DBE construction and consulting heavy highway firms to compete and perform on federally funded heavy highway construction projects by providing reimbursements for the cost of items listed under section III.

 

 II. DBE/SSP ELIGIBILITY

 
  1. DBE firms that have no intentions of performing or bidding on any ODOT heavy highway construction or engineering project will be denied supportive services.

  2. DBE firms will have an annual $10,000 assistance cap limit per federal fiscal year for supportive services on a first come first serve basis.  The limit applies as long as funds are available.

  3. DBE firms participating in the Mentor/Protégé Program will receive priority supportive services over firms not participating in the Mentor/Protégé Program.
  4. DBE firms must submit a Needs Assessment Survey each calendar year to the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise prior to approval for any DBE Supportive Services.  The Needs Assessment Survey is located on the Resources page at ODOT’s Division of Opportunity, Diversity, & Inclusion’s website.

  5. DBE firms must submit a business plan prior to requesting any DBE Supportive Services.

  6. One-on-One Consulting Services can be reimbursed up to $10,000 (counting toward the per-company cap limit).

  7. The request for supportive services must be directly related to the operation of the firm and the firm must identify on the Request for Reimbursement Form and the Needs Assessment Survey the benefit it will gain by participating in the DBE Supportive Services Program.

  8. DBE firms only headquartered in the state of Ohio will qualify for the Supportive Services Program.  Out-of-state firms are encouraged to seek supportive services through their home state certifying agency.

  9. DBE firms must be Ohio UCP-Certified at the time supportive services are requested and remain certified until the service is completed.  Loss of certification will result in immediate suspension of DBE Supportive Services regardless of prior approvals.  (Learn more about UPC certification.)

  10. The DBE Supportive Services Program is limited only to DBE construction and consulting firms that have the capability, equipment, and experience to work on ODOT heavy highway construction and engineering projects.  THE APPROVAL FOR ANY SUPPORTIVE SERVICES IS SOLELY AT THE DISCRETION OF ODOT.

  11. The application for DBE Supportive Services must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the requested service.  No exceptions.
 

 III. ITEMS THAT ARE REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

 
  1. Technical training associated with the DBE firm’s core area of business operations.

  2. Registration fees for industry related events/seminars associated with the DBE firm’s core area of business operations.

  3. Software and/or software licenses associated with the DBE firm’s core area of business operations.

  4. Financial Audit/Review will be reimbursed up to $10,000.00 (this counts toward the $10,000.00 per company cap limit) for the DBE firm’s ODOT prequalifications. DBE firms that have no intentions of becoming prequalified will be denied.

  5. Books associated with the DBE firm’s core area of business operations.

  6. Lodging up to $85.00 per night to DBE firms that attend seminars/trainings/industry related events within the United States that are directly related to the company’s core area of business operations.  Travel, meals, and parking are non-reimbursable expenses.

  7. Tuition expenses for one undergraduate course per quarter, semester or trimester.  Lab fees, costs associated with purchasing books and materials may also be reimbursable providing the course is related to the company’s core area of business operations.
 

 IV. PROCESS FOR REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT

 
  1. The Request for Reimbursement Application must be completed by the DBE firm.  The DBE firm must identify the benefit it will derive from participating.  The Request for Reimbursement Application is located on ODOT’s DODI’s website: Resources page

  2. All requests for reimbursement must be received at least thirty (30) days prior to the course/seminar/training date, the purchase of software, or the performance of the financial audit/review.

  3. Reimbursements will not be processed for any purchases made prior to receiving approval from ODOT.  There will be no exceptions.

  4. Email the Request for Reimbursement Application to ODOT’s DBE Supportive Services Section dot.dbe.ss@dot.ohio.gov.

  5. Request for Reimbursement for costs associated with attendance of course/seminar/training  must be accompanied with:
    • The relevant course/seminar/training description
    • Registration fee
    • Hotel stay (if any)
    • Written justification of the course/seminar/training’s relevancy to the firm’s business activities
    • Who will be attending (must be the owner or an employee attending)

  6. Multiple requests must be submitted on separate Request for Reimbursement Applications, including each employee attending course/seminar/training.

  7. Request for Reimbursement for costs associated with purchase of computer software must be accompanied with:
    • Relevant software description and how it will benefit your company
    • Quote of the software/license must be on the software company’s official letterhead

  8. Request for Reimbursement for costs associated with independent financial audit/review must be accompanied with:
    • Purpose for the financial audit/review (must be for ODOT prequalifications)
    • Estimated cost of the financial audit/review
    • Certified Public Accountant’s Letter of Engagement identifying the scope of service to be provided

  9.  The DBE SSC verifies that the firm is Ohio UCP DBE certified and has the capability to perform on ODOT heavy highway construction and engineering projects.

  10. The DBE SSC verifies that the applying firm has completed a Needs Assessment Survey and Business Plan. The Request for Reimbursement Application will not be processed until these items have been completed and emailed to the DBE/SSC.

  11. Verification of available DBE Supportive Services funds is performed.

  12. Verification of individual DBE firm’s available DBE Supportive Services funds is performed.

  13. The DBE/SSC will make determinations to approve or deny a DBE’s request.
     
 

 V. APPROVAL/DENIAL OF REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT APPLICATION

 
  1. The Request for Reimbursement Application will be approved or denied within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the application.

  2. The DBE/SSC will compose an approval or denial letter and submit it with supporting documentation to the Administrator of the office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (Administrator/SDBE) for review, approval, and signature.

  3. If the request is approved, the DBE/SSC will reserve approved funds in the tracking system pending receipt of all requested documentation.

  4. The approval letter will indicate the request of supporting documentation for the course /seminar/training that was attended, proof of purchasing the computer software, or the financial audit/review that was performed.

     
  5. The denial letter will indicate the reasons for denial.
 

 VI. REIMBURSEMENT PROCESS

 
  1. If your firm has not received any payment from ODOT in the past, you will need to set up an account through Ohio Shared Services. To get set up in the system please go to the following website: http://www.ohiosharedservices.ohio.gov/SuppliersForms.aspx and complete the following forms; Supplier Information Form, IRS Form W-9 and the Authorization Agreement for Direct Deposit of EFT Payments.

  2. All documentation requested by the DBE/SSC to support the reimbursement request must be sent to the DBE/SSC within forty-five (45) days of the completion of the course/seminar/training.  Not doing so will result in no reimbursement.

  3. Forty-five (45) days of the date of the approval letter for computer software purchase.   Not doing so will result in no reimbursement.

  4. Forty-five (45) days of the last day of a financial audit/review.  Not doing so will result in no reimbursement.

  5. If DBE firm owner or employee does not attend the course/seminar/training, purchase the computer software, or the financial audit/review is not performed, the DBE firm must notify the DBE/SSC immediately.  Not doing so will result in no reimbursement.
  6. Documentation must include:
    • Proof of payment (copies of cancelled checks, receipts, credit card/bank statements, paid invoices) must be submitted.  Credit card numbers, social security numbers and personal account information from receipt must be redacted.
    • Proof of successful completion of the course/seminar/training or verification of attendance by company representatives must be submitted.
    • Evidence of a passing grade of “C” or better for tuition reimbursement for courses taken at a college or university.
    • W-2 form verifying that the person attending the course/seminar/training is an employee of the company

  7. The DBE/SSC will review and compare all documentation submitted by the DBE firm with the original letter of approval to ensure the submitted documentation matches the reimbursement identified in the original approval letter.

  8. All supporting documentation will be submitted to the Administrator/SDBE for approval to process the reimbursement. 

  9. Upon approval, all documentation will be forwarded to the Office of Accounting for payment.
 

 VII. ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTANT SERVICES

 
ODOT provides professional services to eligible DBE firms in the following areas:
 
  1. Business Development/Marketing Services are customized to address every phase of business from start-up to growth and expansion.  These services include business plan development, strategic marketing plans, designing and producing marketing communications and promotional materials. Printing costs of materials are not included in this service.

  2. Estimating and Bidding Services provide an organized and systematic approach to bidding and quotation submissions.  The consultant teaches procedures aimed at methods to monitor the available market, bid success ratio and maximum market return, bidding and take-off, material and subcontractor solicitation, production monitoring and calculations, costs, building organization, and ODOT claims process and collections.

  3. Bond Readiness/Packaging and Insurance Services provide bond readiness assistance solutions involving bonding and insurance and provides a resource in resolving construction insurance and bonding issues.  This service does not guarantee a bond will be issued.

  4. Accounting and Computerization Services provided include auditing and accounting functions as well as training of DBE firms in the use of accounting software.

  5. Website Development Service provides innovative and creative technology solutions to assist businesses to compete in today’s marketplace.  The web designer will work closely with the marketing consultant to provide cohesive promotional marketing materials.
 

 VIII. PROCESS FOR ASSIGNMENT OF ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTANT SERVICES

 
  1. Application completed by DBE firm.

  2. The DBE/SSC receives the application requesting one-on-one consultant supportive services.

  3. The DBE/SSC verifies the applying firm has completed an annual Needs Assessment Survey and submitted business plan.  If a survey was not completed or business plan not submitted, the firm is notified that the service request cannot be processed until the survey is completed. 

  4. DBE/SSC performs verification of available DBE Supportive Services funds.

  5. The DBE/SSC will make determinations to approve or deny a DBE’s request for One-on-One Consultant Services with the collaboration of the Administrator of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SDBE).
 

 IX. APPROVAL/DENIAL OF ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTANT SERVICES

 
  1. The application requesting one-on-one consultant services will be approved or denied within fifteen (15) days of receipt of application.

  2. DBE/SSC performs verification of available DBE Supportive Services funds.

  3. The DBE/SSC generates an approval/denial letter.

  4. The DBE/SSC submits letter and supporting documentation to the Administrator/SDBE for approval and signature.

  5. If approved, the DBE/SSC and the administrator collaborate to pair the DBE firm with the appropriate consultant.

  6. The DBE/SSC sends written notification to the Supportive Services Consultant that their services have been requested.

  7. The DBE/SSC schedules a meeting between the Supportive Services Consultant and the DBE firm.

  8. During the initial meeting, the Supportive Services Consultant interviews the applying firm to determine the services to be provided.

  9. During the meeting, the DBE/SSC advises the DBE firm and the Consultant of ODOT’s expectations and reviews the DBE/SS Guidelines with both parties.

  10. The DBE/SSC will ask that Supportive Services Consultant and the DBE firm confirm and document that no conflicts of interest exist between the pairing.

  11. The DBE/SSC will explain ODOT’s reporting requirements to both the DBE firm and the Supportive Services Consultant.

  12. The Supportive Services Consultant will provide to the DBE/SSC a Scope of Work detailing the specific services to be provided including the number of hours, the estimated completion date and the total cost of the service to be provided.

  13. The Supportive Services Consultant will provide a second version of the Scope of Service which will include the estimated hours of work and date of completion. This will be forwarded to the DBE firm for approval.

  14. DBE firm forwards approved Scope of Service to Supportive Service Consultant and to the DBE/SSC.

  15. The DBE/SSC reviews the approved Scope of Service and forwards to the Administrator/SDBE approval.

  16. Once approved, the DBE/SSC prepares a letter directing the consultant to proceed with the service. The letter will verify the number of hours approved and the dollars allocated for the services to be provided.  Under no circumstances is the consultant to provide services outside of the approved Scope of Work or in excess of the hours approved without written consent from ODOT.

     
  17. The DBE/SSC forwards approval letter to the Administrator/SDBE for signature.

  18. A copy of the written approval to proceed will be placed in the consultant’s file.

  19. DBE/SSC enters information into database.
 

 X. SUPPORTIVE SERVICES CONSULTANT REIMBURSEMENT AND PAYMENT OF SERVICES

 
  1. Supportive Services Consultant must use the invoice provided by ODOT. 

  2. ODOT receives invoice and Summary of Services from Supportive Services Consultant for professional services rendered.

  3. Supportive Services Consultant must submit with all bi-weekly invoices a Summary of Services report, which identifies goals achieved to date, challenges faced and any assistance from ODOT needed.

  4. The DBE/SSC will verify that the information submitted is consistent with the approved Scope of Service and that copies of  consultant’s work product have been submitted.

  5. The DBE/SSC submits the invoice and all supporting documentation to the Administrator/SDBE for review and approval.

  6. Once approved by the Administrator/SDBE documents will be forwarded back to the DBE/SSC for processing payment.

  7. The DBE/SSC inputs data from invoice into spreadsheet and attached proper coding label to the invoice.

  8. The DBE/SSC will forward the approved and coded invoice and all supporting documentation for signature to the Deputy Director of the DODI.

  9. The DBE/SSC forwards all documentation to the Office of Accounting for approval for payment.
 

 XI. REQUIRED SUPPORTIVE SERVICES CONSULTANT DOCUMENTATION

 
  1. Written documentation of all assistance provided to DBE firms by the supportive service consultant firm must be maintained by Consultant. This information is to be provided to the ODOT upon submission of each bi-weekly invoice using the prescribed Summary of Services form provided by ODOT.  This information is to also be provided by the Consultant at the completion of the contract, or at the request of the DBE/SSC. Invoices and reports will be due within ten (10) calendar days following the end of each invoicing period.

  2. Upon completion of services with each DBE firm, a final Summary of Services report summarizing all period activities with the DBE firm must be submitted.  The report must be submitted fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of the activity period.

  3. The Summary of Services report must be narrative in nature, addressing each task listed in the proposal, the progress made, and state any problems that were encountered.

  4. At the end of the service period, the Supportive Services Consultant and the DBE firm will submit to the DBE/SSC an evaluation covering the entire activity period.
 

 XII. DBE/SSP CONSULTANT SELECTION CRITERIA

 
  1. Upon submission of a proposal per the issuance of a Request for Proposal by ODOT, the DBE/SSP Consultant Proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • Past performance.
    • Ability of professional personnel.
    • Willingness to meet time and budget requirements.
    • Recent, current, and projected workloads of the persons and/or firms.
    • Related experience on similar projects.
    • Recent and current work for the agency.
    • ODOT Project understanding, issues, & approach.
    • Project schedules.
    • Specific experience with program delivery to “applicable clients” or recipients to who program is targeted.
    • The firm’s past or present business relationships.
    • Familiarity with business-related difficulties with applicable clients or recipients to who the program is targeted will be evaluated.
    • The firm’s demonstrated understanding of highway construction company bidding, quoting, estimating, and business management.