Wisconsin's Minority Business Enterprise laws establish a five percent MBE procurement goal for state agencies and UW campuses and a five percent price preference for certified minority business enterprise firms pursuing state contracts.
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Five Percent Minority Business Purchasing Goal
Wis. Stat § 16.75(3m) and (3m)(b) provides that the executive, legislative and judicial agencies of state government "shall attempt to ensure that 5% of the total amount expended under this subchapter in each fiscal year is paid to minority businesses." “Minority Business is defined as a "business certified by the Department of Administration s. 16.287. The Department of Administration (DOA) monitors this goal through the office of the State Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program. At the end of each fiscal year the Department of Administration is required to prepare and submit a report on State agency expenditures with MBE firms to the Governor and the Legislature.
The five percent expenditure goal applies to all State purchases with the exception of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Surface Transportation Assistance Act and the Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds.
Five Percent Minority Business Price Preference.
Wis. Stat. § 16.75 (3m)(b) also provides agencies "may purchase materials, supplies, equipment and contractual services from any minority business submitting a qualified responsible competitive bid that is no more than 5% higher than the apparent low bid or competitive proposal that is no more than 5% higher than the most advantageous offer." The statute further provides that agencies "shall maximize the use of minority businesses which are incorporated under Wis. Stats § 180 or which have their principal place of business in this state." The permissive five percent low-bid preference is applicable to all State purchases except printing and stationery.
The Wisconsin Rules of Procurement provide State agencies, including the University of Wisconsin campuses are "committed to the promotion of minority business in the state's purchasing program and seek to maximize opportunities for MBE firms to participate in the performance of state contracts.” PRO-C-5 IV(L).
In addition to the policy that encourages agencies to maximize the use of certified MBE firms in State contracts the policy also encourages prime vendors, suppliers and contractors to use "due diligence" to support the state's MBE policy "by awarding sub-contracts to minority-owned business enterprises or by using such enterprises to provide goods and services incidental" to their contracts with the State, "with a goal of awarding at least 5% of the contract price" to certified MBE firms. PRO-C-5 IV(L).
* MBE Fiscal Year Reports