Chapter 5501:2-12 Veteran-friendly Business Enterprise Bid Preference

5501:2-12-01 Definitions.

As used in this division of Administrative Code:

(A) "Active service" means any person who has not completed service in the armed forces, including the national guard of any state, or a reserve component of the armed forces, who at present is in the employment of the armed forces or is on call for activation at any time.

(B) "Armed forces" means the armed forces of the United States, including the army, navy, air force, marine corps, coast guard, or any reserve component of those forces; the national guard of any state; the commissioned corps of the United States public health service; the merchant marine service during wartime; such other service as may be designated by congress; and the Ohio organized militia when engaged in full time national guard duty for a period of more than thirty days.

(C) "Bid response" means all documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, supplied by the bidder in response to an invitation to bid.

(D) "Bidder" means the person or firm that submits a bid response to an invitation to bid.

(E) "Competitive sealed proposal" means offering of proposals in response to a request for proposal by a state agency for the purchase of supplies and/or services.

(F) "Discharged under honorable conditions" has the same meeting as "honorably discharged."

(G) "Employee" means a veteran who has received a salary or wage from the same veteran-friendly business enterprise for at least one year, working an average of at least a twenty hour week during the most recent twelve-month period.

(H) "Evidence of satisfactory service" means a record verifying veteran status or documentation that a person on active service with the armed forces is likely to be honorably discharged from the armed forces.

(I) "Honorably discharged" means a person has served the armed forces well by meeting or exceeding the required standards of duty performance and personal conduct during their commitment to the armed forces.

(J) "Invitation to bid" or "ITB" means all documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, utilized for soliciting bids.

(K) "Offeror" means the person or firm which submits a proposal in response to a request for proposal.

(L) "Products" means materials, manufacturer's supplies, merchandise, goods, ware, and foodstuffs.

(M) "Proposal" means all documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, supplied by the offeror in response to a request for proposal.

(N) "Purchase" means to buy, rent, lease, lease purchase, or otherwise acquire supplies or services and includes all functions that pertain to the obtaining of supplies of services, including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contracts, all phases of contract administration, and receipt and acceptance of the supplies and services and payment for them.

(O) "Record verifying veteran status" means those forms of documentation proving a service member is currently active or a veteran has been honorably discharged from the armed forces, including United States Department of Defense form 214 (DD-214), United States department of defense form 215 (DD-215), United States uniformed identification card (DD Form 2), United States department of veterans affairs identification card, United States department of defense military identification, Ohio driver's license with armed forces logo, national guard bureau form 22 (NGB-22), or any other documentation verifying status.

(P) "Request for proposal" or "RFP" means all documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, utilized for soliciting proposals from offerors.

(Q) "Supplies" means all property, including, but not limited to, equipment, materials, other tangible assets, and insurance, but excluding real property or an interest in real property.

(R) "State agency" has the same meaning as in section 1.60 of the Revised Code, but does not include the elected state officers, the general assembly or any legislative agency, a court or any judicial agency, or a state institution of higher education.

(S) "Veteran" means any person who has completed service in the armed forces, including the national guard of any state, or a reserve component of the armed forces, who has been honorably discharged or discharged under honorable conditions from the armed forces or that has been transferred to the reserve with evidence of satisfactory service.

(T) "Veteran employment standard" means that a business applying for veteran-friendly business enterprise certification satisfies one of the following criteria:

(1) At least ten per cent of the employees of the sole proprietorship, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or joint venture are veterans or on active service; or

(2) At least fifty-one per cent of the sole proprietorship, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or joint venture is owned by veterans or on active service; or

(3) If the businesses is a corporation, at least fifty-one per cent of the board of directors are veterans or people on active service.

(U) "Veteran friendly business enterprise" means a sole proprietorship, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or joint venture that meets veteran employment standards as defined in paragraph (T) of this rule.

(V) "Director" or "Department" as used under rule 5501:2-12-02 of the Administrative Code, shall mean the director of the department of transportation or department of transportation unless specifically referenced otherwise.

Effective: 4/28/2017
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 02/10/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 9.318
Rule Amplifies: 5513.01, 5525.01, 5526.01

5501:2-12-02 Implementation of veteran-friendly business enterprise bid preference for the purchase of supplies and services.

(A) Veteran-friendly business enterprise certification process

(1) To be certified as a veteran-friendly business enterprise, an applicant business shall be in good standing with federal, state, and local governments, and shall apply to the department of administrative services for certification.

(2) An applicant business shall provide the department of transportation with a copy of a record verifying veteran status or documentation demonstrating active service for each employee, partner, member, or director until at least one of the requirements of paragraph (T) of rule 5501:2-12-01 of the Administrative Code is satisfied. In order to verify the accuracy of each record verifying veteran status or documentation demonstrating active service, the department of transportation will review all documentation that the business applying for certification as a veteran-friendly business enterprise provides and may require additional information as necessary, which the applicant business shall provide.

(3) Upon submission and review of all requested documentation, the department of administrative services may issue a certificate to a qualified applicant business designating the business as a veteran-friendly business enterprise. A certificate shall be valid for up to two years.

(4) A veteran-friendly business enterprise must apply to renew its certification before it expires to maintain continuous certification in the program. A veteran-friendly business enterprise will be notified of its obligation to renew its certificate at sixty and thirty days prior to the expiration of its current certification. In order to renew the certificate, the veteran-friendly business enterprise must comply with paragraph (A) of rule 5501:2-12-02 of the Administrative Code and meet the requirements of paragraph (T) of rule 5501:2-12-01 of the Administrative Code.

(5) Each veteran-friendly business enterprise must remain in good standing with federal, state, and local governments and in compliance with the veteran employment standard during its certification period. The department of transportation may conduct compliance reviews of a veteran-friendly business enterprise to ensure its continued eligibility for the program. A veteran-friendly business enterprise may have its certification revoked for any of the following reasons:

(a) The business has failed to remain in compliance with the veteran employment standard;

(b) The business intentionally misrepresented material facts in its certification application;

(c) If the actions of the business, its owner or owners result in a criminal conviction of the business or any of its owners; or

(d) Revocation of the business's certification is in the best interest of the state, which determination may be based on, but not limited to, debarment by the federal government, the State of Ohio or any of its political subdivisions, or any other state.

(6) This division of the Administrative Code shall apply to all department of transportation purchases made under Chapter 5513. of the Revised Code.

(7) The bids or offers submitted by the veteran-friendly business enterprise may be rejected if they contain an excessive price as defined in rule 123:5-1-06 of the Administrative Code, as amended.

(B) Procedures for applying preference for veteran-friendly business enterprises:

(1) Bids or proposals will first be evaluated to determine whether a response is from a veteran-friendly business enterprise. Information furnished in the response by the bidder or offeror shall be relied upon but may be verified in making the determination. Any response that does not meet this requirement may be removed, except in those circumstances where the director of the department of administrative services or the director's designee determines compliance would result in the state paying an excessive price or acquiring an inferior product as described in paragraph (B) (3) of this rule.

(2) Following the determination at paragraph (B) (1) of this rule, the bids or proposals shall be evaluated so as to give preference to veteran-friendly business enterprise bids or proposals for goods or services. A veteran-friendly business enterprise must have an active certification at the time of bid or proposal opening to receive the preference for veteran-friendly business enterprises. If the veteran-friendly business enterprise preference is applied then the preferences under paragraphs (A)(2) to (A)(4) of rule 123:5-1-06 and rule 123:5-1-14 of the Administrative Code shall not apply. Where the preliminary analysis of bids or proposals identifies the apparent low bid or most advantageous proposal as a veteran-friendly business enterprise response, the director or the director's designee shall proceed with evaluation and award procedure as provided in rule 123:5-1-07 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Where the preliminary analysis identifies the apparent low bid as one other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise bid, the director or the director's designee shall apply the following preferences:

(a) If the apparent low bid is one other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise bid, apply five per cent to the price. For purposes of the veteran-friendly business enterprise preference, "excessive price" shall be construed to mean a price that exceeds by more than five per cent the lowest price submitted on a non-veteran-friendly business enterprise bid.

(b) If sufficient competition does not exist or if it is determined that all prices are excessive, as defined in rule 123:5-1-06 of the Administrative Code and as amended, the department may cancel the bid in its entirety, may re-bid the intended purchase, or award the contract.

(4) Where the preliminary analysis identifies the apparent most advantageous proposal as one other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise response, the director or the director's designee shall apply the following preferences:

(a) If the apparent most advantageous proposal is one other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise proposal, subtract five percent of the available points from the proposal's score.

(b) If sufficient competition does not exist or if it is determined that any of the conditions identified under paragraph (F) of rule 123:5-1-08 of the Administrative Code are met, the department reserves the right to cancel, reissue or reject all responses, in whole or in part.

(5) After application of the preferences in paragraphs (B)(3) and (B)(4) of this rule, the director shall propose an award in the following manner:

(a) When conducting a competitive sealed bid and where the director or the director's designee determines that selection of the lowest veteran-friendly business enterprise bid will not result in an excessive price or disproportionately inferior product or service, the director or the director's designee shall propose a contract award to the lowest responsible and responsive veteran-friendly business enterprise bid at the bid price quote. Where, otherwise, the director determines it is advantageous to propose the award of contract to other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise bid, the director shall propose same subject to any applicable preference pursuant to rule 123:5-1-06 of the Administrative Code . The final contract award shall be made following further evaluation and award under rule 123:5-1-07 of the Administrative Code. The director or the director's designee shall at all times reserve the right to reject all bids, award partial bids and rebid if it is deemed in the best interest of the state to do so.

(b) When conducting a competitive sealed proposal and where the director or the director's designee determines that selection of a veteran-friendly business enterprise proposal will be most advantageous to this state, the director or the director's designee shall propose a contract award to such veteran-friendly business enterprise offeror. Where, otherwise, the director determines it is most advantageous to propose the award of contract to other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise offeror, the director shall propose same subject to any applicable preference pursuant to rule 123:5-1-06 of the Administrative Code . The final contract award shall be made following further evaluation and award under rule 123:5-1-08 of the Administrative Code. The director or the director's designee shall at all times reserve the right to cancel, reissue or reject all responses, in whole or in part if it is deemed in the best interest of the state to do so.

Effective: 4/28/2017
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 02/10/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 9.318
Rule Amplifies: 5513.01, 5525.01, 5526.01

5501:2-12-03 Implementation of veteran-friendly business enterprise bid preference on the construction of transportation facilities.

(A) Prior to the award of a contract for construction of a transportation facility, the director of transportation will compare the lowest bid or the most advantageous offer from the non-veteran-friendly business enterprise to the lowest bid or most advantageous offer from the veteran-friendly business enterprise, if any.

(B) To the extent allowed by federal law, the director of transportation shall proceed with the award of the contract containing the lowest bid or most advantageous offer from the veteran-friendly business enterprise unless:

(1) The veteran-friendly business enterprise does not meet the criteria for competency or responsibility as defined by the director of transportation under Chapter 55. of the Revised Code; or

(2) The bid or offer submitted by the veteran-friendly business enterprise contains an excessive price. For the purposes of this rule an excessive price shall be in two and one-half per cent above the lowest responsive and competent bidder.

Effective: 4/28/2017
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 02/10/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 9.318
Rule Amplifies: 5513.01, 5525.01, 5526.01

5501:2-12-04 Implementation of veteran-friendly business enterprise bid preference on the acquisition of professional services.

(A) Prior to the award of a contract for professional services under section 5526.05 of the Revised Code, the director of transportation shall determine if a qualified firm who would otherwise be eligible for contract award is a veteran-friendly business enterprise. If so, the director will continue with award of that contract if the director or the director's designee determines that selection of a veteran-friendly business enterprise firm will be most advantageous to this state. Where, otherwise, the director of transportation determines that it is most advantageous to propose the award of contract to other than a veteran-friendly business enterprise qualified firm, the director shall propose same.

(B) This rule shall not apply to contracts funded with federal funds unless prior approval of award is received from the United States secretary of transportation.

Effective: 4/28/2017
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 02/10/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 9.318
Rule Amplifies: 5513.01, 5525.01, 5526.01