In May 1994, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution creating the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program within Travis County. The primary objective of the program is to ensure that minority and woman-owned businesses receive a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the county's procurement process.
It is the policy of the Travis County Purchasing Office to ensure a good faith effort is made to assist certified HUB vendors and contractors in receiving contracts in accordance with the HUB Program policies and the Minority and Woman-Owned Business goals adopted by the Travis County Commissioners Court.
City of Austin Minority and Woman-Owned Business Goals were adopted unanimously by the Travis County Commissioners Court in the July 15, 2003 Voting Session.
The HUB Program policies and Minority/Woman-Owned Business goals shall be applicable to the eligible procurement dollars spent in the following areas:
- Purchase of supplies, materials, products, services, and equipment.
- Maintenance and/or service of County assets and property.
- Contracts for professional and non-professional services.
- Contracts for commodities, equipment, or supplies/materials.
- Contracts for repair/alteration of real property.
- Contracts for the construction of real property.
- Contracts for the repair/construction of roads, bridges, or other related structures/surfaces.
|Hub Category||Construction||Commodities||Professional Services||Services|
|Overall (MBE) Goal||13.7%||3.5%||15.8%||14.1%|
|Overall (WBE) Goal||13.8%||6.2%||15.8%||15.0%|
Each buyer shall, to the maximum extent practical, ensure the HUB goals are met through the award of purchase orders and contracts, in each area defined above, to certified HUBs. This will be achieved through a systematic approach of soliciting quotes, bids, and proposals from certified HUBs as follows:
- Up to $2,499- One HUB is selected from the county's "Automated Certified HUB Listing", to solicit a quote from.
- $2,500 to 50,000 - Requires at least three written (informal) bids/quotes, which may be faxed, one of which must be from a certified HUB.
- Bid or Proposals for Commodities, Equipment Services (Professional and Non-professional), and Repairs or Maintenance - Requires that all certified HUBs registered with Travis County be informed of the county's intent to solicit bids/proposals.
- Bids or Proposals for Construction - Requires that all certified HUBs registered with Travis County be informed of the county's intent to solicit bids/proposals. Also, all vendors/contractors will be responsible for making a good faith effort to ensure subcontracts are awarded to minority and woman-owned businesses.
To qualify, vendors/contractors must successfully complete the certification process with the State of Texas, the City of Austin, Texas Unified Certification Program, or South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency. The vendor or contractor must also hold a current valid certification (title) from either of these entities.
Travis County reserves the right to review the certification status of any vendor applying to do business with the county.
The key element in developing a successful outreach program is to first determine the needs of the targeted business community. This will be accomplished through dissemination of a needs survey. This survey will provide HUBs with an avenue to inform the Purchasing Office of programs they feel would be beneficial.
Outreach activities will also help to educate the HUB community on the logistics of doing business with Travis County. The marketing and outreach programs will entail:
- conducting workshops and seminars on the HUB Program and how it can help the HUB Entrepreneur in being an active participant in the Travis County procurement process.
- identifying certifying agencies accepted by Travis County, and whom within those agencies the vendor should contact (name, phone numbers, etc.).
- providing overall assistance, within the limits of the Purchasing Act, to HUBs in various areas as required.
Good Faith Effort
Prime Contractors who are awarded contracts with the County are required to make a "Good Faith Effort" to subcontract with HUBs. This includes professional services associated with the projects.
The Prime Contractor will be required to comply with the following criteria:
- divide the contract work into the smallest feasible portions to allow for maximum HUB Subcontractor participation, consistent with standard and prudent industry practices.
- notify HUBs of work that the prime contractor plans to subcontract, allowing sufficient time for effective participation. The notification shall include:
- adequate information about the project and intended subcontracting work (i.e. plans and specifications, scope of work)
- bonding and insurance requirements of HUB subcontractor
- a point of contact within the Prime Contractor's organization that can answer any questions a HUB may have about the project.
- provide written notice and explanations to the Purchasing Agent or HUB Coordinator if the Prime Contractor is unable to meet the required goal for HUB subcontractor participation, and why the goal was not met.
- negotiate in good faith with interested HUBs, not rejecting bids from HUBs that qualify as lowest, responsive and responsible bidders.
- communicate to the Purchasing Agent when no HUB participation is achieved and include reasons why.
- obtain pre-approval from the Purchasing Agent or the HUB Coordinator of all changes involving Certified HUB Subcontractors. Modifications to the HUB Subcontractor Participation Plan are permitted only after award of the bid and solely with the prior written approval of the Purchasing Office.
The HUB staff provides a list of certified HUBs, upon request, to any prime contractor experiencing difficulty locating certified HUBs to fulfill their subcontracting goals.
Prime Contractors report all payments to subcontractors to the Purchasing Office. Payments made to all subcontractors are tracked on a monthly basis. A semi-annual report including information on contracts awarded to HUBs and payments made to those contractors and subcontractors is provided to the Commissioners Court.
To qualify as a sub-recipient of federal funds for the design and construction of various public work projects, the County is required to implement a federally compliant Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program as established in 49CFR Part 26, or partner with another governmental agency's DBE Program. This policy was established to ensure DBE's had the opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts financed in whole or in part with Federal funds.
Vendor Tracking System
The Vendor Tracking System (VTS) is a web-based paperless system used to route and verify subcontracting payments made to certified HUBs for any subcontracting tier-level, specifically for construction and professional services contracts.
The Travis County Purchasing Office is committed to increasing contracting opportunities for HUB vendors and contractors.
- Asian Contractor Association
- Austin Black Contractors Association
- Austin Independent Business Alliance
- Greater Austin Black Chamber
- Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Texas Association African-American Chamber of Commerce
- Texas Association of Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce
- U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association de Austin
(Revised February 2016)