The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is committed to supporting local businesses in Boston especially those that are underrepresented in government contracting. In 2019, the Commission adopted a formal Equitable Procurement policy that requires its programs and departments to solicit at least one quote for goods or services from qualified Certified Underrepresented Business Enterprises (CUBES) as part of the standard contracting process. CUBEs can be a for-profit or non-profit enterprise and the contract will be awarded to the certified entity if all bids are determined to be equal. Entities may choose to become certified in one or more of the following categories:
- Disability-owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) – at least 51% owned and dominantly controlled by one or more adult persons with a disability, who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender-owned Enterprise (LGBTE) – at least 51% owned and dominantly controlled by one or more adult LGBT persons, who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) – at least 51% owned and dominantly controlled by one or more adult minority persons, who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) – an independent business with its principal office physically located in Boston whose gross receipts, when averaged over a three-year period, do not exceed gross income limitations for that particular industry as defined by the City of Boston's Small Local Business Enterprise Office
- Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) – at least 51% owned and dominantly controlled by one or more adult women, who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (VBE) – at least 51% owned and dominantly controlled by veteran principals, who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Non-Profit Organization – a tax-exempt non-profit with at least 51% of the organization's Board of Directors and Voting Membership being women and/or members of one of the following statutorily defined minority groups
- Minority Only – Minority Women and Men Combined (M/NPO)
- Woman Only – Non-Minority and Minority Woman Combined (W/NPO)
- Minority Woman Only (M/W/NPO)
More information about the certification process is available from the City of Boston's Equity and Inclusion Unit, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Supplier Diversity Office (SDO). Several third-party organizations also offer certifications that are recognized and accepted by BPHC such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. However, BPHC is unable to certify entities that wish to become certified but can direct them to appropriate agencies and resources. The Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) Boston can provide legal assistance and guidance to individuals or organizations that wish to obtain certification.
CUBEs are not guaranteed BPHC contracts, but certification is taken into account when contract decisions are made.
Submitting Proposals to BPHC
Please refer to our RFP Page for opportunities to submit proposals to the requesting Program/Department. Awarded vendors will be instructed on steps on how to be a vendor.
Goods and Services under $50,000
To ensure an open and competitive process that result in a procurement that meets the program's needs at the lowest price, all purchases of goods and services costing less than $50,000 per vendor contracted by the Commission per fiscal year require the solicitation of three quotes. All purchasing solicitations have a description of goods or scope of services that provide sufficient detail to enable vendors to provide realistic price quotes including deliverables and schedule requirements. The quality requirements will serve to determine the most responsive and responsible vendor.
Good and Services over $50,000
Procurements of goods and services costing $50,000 or more over the term of the contract will be conducted by the Procurement and Contract Management Unit in consultation with the program staff. Such contracts will be procured using either a Request for Bids (RFB) or a Request for Proposals (RFP). An RFB process requires award of the contract to the responsive and responsible bidder submitting the lowest bid. An RFP process requires award of the contract to the responsive and responsible proposer whose proposal is deemed most favorable to the Commission, taking into consideration the evaluation criteria stated in the RFP as well as the proposal price.
Boston Public Health Commission policies prohibit the acceptance of gifts and gratuities from suppliers, contractors or consultants. The Commission awards business based on quality, service and competitive pricing. All procurements are conducted in an open, fair and competitive manner, taking into account the needs of individual programs, bureaus, and the Commission as a whole.