Definition of Historically Underutilized Business (HUB)
A HUB is a business that is formed for the purpose of making a profit and that is otherwise a legally recognized business organization under the laws of Texas. A HUB must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more persons who are economically disadvantaged due to their identification as members of certain groups. The groups include Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans, Service Disabled Veterans and Women. These individuals must have a proportionate interest and demonstrate active participation in the control, operation, and management of the business' affairs. A HUB must also have its principal place of business in the State of Texas.
All businesses participating in the OAG's HUB Program must be certified by the Comptroller's Procurement and Support Services Division, the agency which oversees purchasing for the state. There is no fee to become certified as a HUB vendor. Certified HUBs are listed on a HUB database which is accessible to all state agencies.
Vendors who are interested in becoming certified HUBs may contact the OAG HUB Coordinator, a member of the OAG Procurement Division staff, or the CPA to request a HUB application. Vendor information, including applications for downloading can be obtained via the CPA website.
Mentor Protege Program
The State of Texas Mentor-Protege Program is designed to foster long-term relationships between prime contractors and HUB. The OAG supports the Mentor-Protege Program. For more information visit the Texas Comptroller.
Office of the Attorney General (OAG) HUB Program
The goal of the agency's HUB program is to increase procurement opportunities for minority, woman-owned, and Service Disabled Veteran businesses. The program includes components designed to increase awareness, provide education, and encourage participation by actively working with both agency staff and the vendor community.
In accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter §2161, the OAG seeks to:
- Assist businesses in obtaining state HUB certification.
- Educate HUB vendors about the agency's procurement policies and procedures.
- Increase the number of HUB vendors contacted for procurement opportunities.
- Encourage HUB vendors to participate in the agency's purchasing process.
- Inform HUB vendors about OAG procurement opportunities.
- Ensure that prime contractors provide subcontracting opportunities for HUB vendors.
HUB Subcontracting Plan
In accordance with Texas Government Code §2161.252 and the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Title 34, part 1, Chapter 20 Subchapter B Section §20.14, each state agency as defined by TGC §2151.002 that considers entering into a contract with an expected value of $100,000 over the life of the contract including any renewal terms shall, before the agency solicits bids, proposals, offers or other applicable expressions of interest, determine whether subcontracting opportunities are probable under the contract.
If subcontracting opportunities are probable, each state agency's invitation for bids or other purchase solicitation documents, with an expected value of $100,000 over the life of the contract including any renewal terms, shall state that probability and require a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP).
The purpose of the HUB Program is to promote equal business opportunities for economically disadvantaged persons (as defined by TGC §2161) to contract with the State of Texas in accordance with the goals specified in the State of Texas Disparity Study.
If the agency has determined that probable subcontracting opportunities have been identified in the scope of work, then all vendors, (HUB and Non-HUB), must include a completed HUB Subcontracting Plan with their response. IF YOUR RESPONSE TO A SOLICITATION DOES NOT CONTAIN A HUB SUBCONTRACTING PLAN, YOUR RESPONSE SHALL BE REJECTED AS A MATERIAL FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS.
OAG Procurement Division
The OAG is composed of Legal, Crime Victim Services, Medical Fraud Control, and Child Support Enforcement programs. The Medicaid Fraud Control and Child Support programs receive federal funding and must meet federal procurement guidelines, in addition to state requirements. The operating costs of other programs are primarily funded by state appropriations.
Although the OAG has offices throughout the state, the agency's purchasing functions are centralized. The Procurement Division is responsible for procuring goods and services to meet the needs of the entire agency.
The OAG purchases a wide variety of commodities and services each fiscal year. Most routine orders for items such as office furniture, equipment, and supplies, are made through term contracts established by the Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA). Computer and telecommunications related purchases are made through the Department of Information Resources (DIR) Co-op contracts which make up a significant portion of the agency's expenditures. DIR's website may be found at the following link: http://dir.texas.gov/.
All state procurement opportunities over $25,000.00 must be posted on the Electronic State Business Daily, which is operated by the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Click here to enter the Electronic State Business Daily. The OAG's agency number is 302.
How to Contact the OAG Procurement Division
Office of the Attorney General
300 West 15th Street, 3rd Floor
Austin, TX 78701
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Phone: (512) 475-4333
Fax: (512) 477-4058
HUB Program Contact Information:
Shawn Constancio, HUB Coordinator
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Phone: (512) 475-4411 Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
State Fiscal Year
The State of Texas' fiscal year begins September 1st and ends on August 31st. The summer months from June to August are usually the OAG's busiest time for establishing and renewing contracts.
The regulations of the CPA govern all state procurement. However, the CPA delegates authority to state agencies to make certain purchases. The OAG uses the methods described below to acquire goods and services, depending on the total anticipated cost of an order and the type of items being requested.
CPA Term Contracts
The CPA establishes term contracts for specific goods and services based on the overall needs of the state. Agencies must purchase these goods and services from the term contracts whenever the items meet their functional requirements. However, agencies may obtain orders below specified dollar amounts ("spot option limits") from sources other than the contract vendor.
The methods and bidding requirements outlined below apply to purchases that have been delegated to state agencies by the CPA. These are the minimum bidding requirements needed to satisfy CPA rules and procedures.
Open Market Purchases
For commodity purchases over $25,000.00 and service purchases over $100,000.00, the agency prepares and sends specifications to the CPA. The CPA is responsible for advertising, evaluating and awarding all Open Market procurements, since authority to make purchases at this level has not been delegated to agencies. However, upon review of specifications, CPA has the option of granting authority to an agency on a case-by-case basis.
- Call and Order
Goods and Services $ 0.01 - $5,000.00
For small purchases that do not require competitive bidding, an authorized individual within OAG Procurement Division may issue a purchase order after obtaining pricing from a single vendor.
- Informal Competitive Bid
Goods and Services $5,000.01 - $10,000.00
OAG purchasers solicit a minimum of three informal bids from prospective vendors by telephone or with an informal pricing request. Two of the three bids must be sought from HUBs. The purchaser tabulates responses and awards the order to the vendor that offers the best value to the agency.
Formal Competitive (Sealed) Bid
Goods $10,000.01 - $25,000.00 / Services $10,000.01 - $100,000.00
For goods or services estimated to exceed $10,000, the OAG issues detailed written specifications, known as an Invitation for Bid (IFB). Vendors must prepare and return bid responses to OAG Procurement Division by a specified day and time.
For purchases up to $25,000.00, purchasers must issue the IFB to a minimum of three vendors. Two of the three bids must be solicited from Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). For services anticipated to cost between $25,000.01 and $100,000.00, bids must be solicited from all eligible bidders listed under the appropriate commodity code on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL). Purchases in excess of $25,000 must also be posted on the Electronic State Business Daily.
Bid openings are open to the public and bid responses will be read aloud, if requested. After evaluating the bids received, the purchaser will make an award to the bidder whose response represents the best value to the OAG. All IFB responses become public record following the award.
The OAG obtains the names of prospective vendors from the CPA Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) and HUB Directory. Vendors who would like to do business with the agency may contact OAG Procurement Division staff or CPA and request a CMBL/HUB application. Applications are also available for downloading at the following web address: https://comptroller.texas.gov/purchasing/.
The OAG constantly seeks quality vendors who can fulfill the agency's needs in a timely and efficient manner at a competitive price. Our agency's expectations for vendor performance are outlined in the list below.
The OAG looks for vendors who:
- Quote prices F.O.B. destination and specify if there are shipping/handling charges.
- Responds to requests for telephone quotes on the same or following day.
- Returns bids or quotes by the scheduled deadline. The OAG cannot accept late responses for any reason.
- Comply with all terms and conditions set out in the Pricing Request, Invitation for Bid, RFP or RFO.
- Are not identified on the Excluded Parties List or Comptroller's List of debarred vendors.
- Provide product samples and literature upon request.
- Acknowledge receipt of the purchase order and communicate an estimated delivery date.
- Alert OAG Purchaser of any price discrepancies or added charges prior to filling orders.
- Meet or exceed expected delivery schedules.
- Record the correct OAG purchase order number on cartons, packing slips, invoices and other documents connected with the order.
- Communicate any delays in established delivery time to the OAG Procurement Division as soon as possible.
- Respond promptly to customer service requests and telephone messages.
- Resolve problems with orders and invoices in a prompt, efficient, and professional manner.
- Submit accurate invoices to the OAG Accounts Payable Section.
- Reference the OAG purchase order number and vendor taxpayer identification number on all invoices.