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Quick Start for:

Frequently Asked Historically Underutilized
Business (HUB) Questions

  1. Interested in being HUB certified?
  2. Who is eligible to be certified as a HUB with the state?
  3. How can I contact the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' Internal Purchasing HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Program office regarding its bid solicitations?
  4. Which agency is responsible for HUB certification?
  5. Are state agencies required to attain a specific goal for HUB spending?
  6. Is there a certain length of time a business needs to be in operation before getting certified as a HUB?
  7. If a company does not qualify as a HUB, what can that vendor do to sell to the agency and to the state?
  8. How do I register on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL)?
  9. If a vendor is certified as a HUB and is on the HUB Directory why would you want to pay $70 to get on the CMBL?
  10. How is the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' office making a "good faith effort" to assist HUBs?
  11. What are the specific bidding requirements the agency must follow?
  12. How are vendors selected to bid on goods and services for the agency?
  13. How does the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts hire consultants?
  14. Who can I contact about the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' Mentor Protégé Program?
  15. Once a vendor has been awarded a state contract and the vendor has provided goods or services to a state agency how soon before payment is made?
  16. I wish to enhance my knowledge of doing business with state agencies, what Economic Opportunity Forums (EOF) are available for me to attend?
  17. How do I complete a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP)?

HUB FAQs

  1. Interested in being HUB certified?

    In order to determine whether a vendor qualifies as a HUB, a vendor must complete a State of Texas Application for Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Certification. The application is free of charge, valid for up to 4 years and can be viewed and downloaded from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' website.

    This application must be notarized and returned to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in paper form. A Compliance Analyst may be reached by calling 512-463-5872 or in Texas, call toll free 1-888-863-5881.

  2. Who is eligible to be certified as a State of Texas HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) with the state?

    A "Historically Underutilized Business"...

    • is a for-profit entity that has not exceeded the size standards prescribed by 34 TAC §20.23, and has its principal place of business in Texas, and
    • is at least 51% owned by an Asian Pacific American, Black American, Hispanic American, Native American, American woman and/or Service Disabled Veteran, who reside in Texas and actively participate in the control, operations and management of the entity's affairs.

    Asian Pacific Americans--which includes persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Territories of the Pacific, the Northern Marianas, and Subcontinent Asian Americans which includes persons whose origins are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan or Nepal;

    Black Americans--which includes persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa;

    Hispanic Americans--which includes persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish/Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race;

    Native Americans--which includes persons who are American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts or Native Hawaiians;

    American Women--which includes all women of any ethnicity, except those specified above; and

    Service Disabled Veterans--as defined by 38 United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 101(2) who have a service-connected disability as defined by 38 U.S.C. Section 101(16), and have a disability rating of 20 percent or more as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.

    *Note: Veterans are not required to be United States citizens; however, they must reside in Texas.

  3. How can I contact the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' Internal Purchasing HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Program office regarding its bid solicitations?

    Call 1-800-991-BIDS (991-2437) or in Austin, call 512-936-6006, for regular news updates. Please visit our website at www.window.state.tx.us/ssv.

    View the "Selling to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts" brochure in English (PDF, 899 KB) and in Spanish (PDF, 741 KB).

  4. Which agency is responsible for HUB certification and how long does it take to certify a vendor?

    The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS) Division is required by law to maintain a statewide Centralized Master Bidders List and the State of Texas HUB Directory. The application process can take up to 90 days from the time the completed application is received by TPASS. Therefore, to minimize the processing time of your application it is crucial that you ensure your application is completed thoroughly and accompanied with all of the required documentation.

    Upon receiving a HUB certification application package the HUB Program will prescreen it and send the vendors an email notifying them that their application package was received by our office and, if applicable, the notice will identify anything the vendors failed to complete or provide with their application. Vendors should respond promptly to prevent further delay in the processing of their applications.

    Within 4 - 6 weeks after receiving the HUB certification application package, it will be assigned to a HUB Program staff member to begin the evaluation process to determine the applicant’s HUB eligibility.

    Vendors may check the status of their HUB certification application by calling the Statewide HUB Program at 512-463-5872 or toll free at 1-888-863-5881.

  5. Are state agencies required to attain a specific goal for HUB spending?

    Each state agency is required by the Legislature to make a Good Faith Effort (GFE) to increase contracts awarded to HUBs and report their utilization of HUBs. The HUB Program promotes equal business opportunities for economically disadvantaged persons to contract with the State of Texas in accordance with the following goals specified in the State of Texas Disparity Study.

    Goals established through the disparity study and 34 TAC, Part 1, Chapter 20, §20.13.

    1. 11.2% - Heavy Construction other than building contracts
    2. 21.1% - Building Construction, including general contractors and operative builders contracts
    3. 32.7% - *Special Trade Construction contracts
    4. 23.6% - *Professional Services contracts
    5. 24.6% - *All Other Services contracts, and
    6. 21% - *Commodities contracts

    * Denotes contract types primarily used at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' office.

  6. Is there a certain length of time a business needs to be in operation before getting certified as a HUB?

    No. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has implemented requirements for businesses seeking certification with the state. If a business is applying for HUB certification or recertifying under a new business structure, in conjunction with completing the HUB Certification Application, a business must provide certain documentation for its business structure to become certified as a HUB. The required documentation is contained on the application.

  7. If a company does not qualify as a HUB, what can that vendor do to sell to the agency and to the state?

    Vendors do not have to be certified as a HUB in order to sell to state agencies. We do however strongly encourage all vendors to register their business on the state’s Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL). The CMBL is a master database used by the State of Texas purchasing entities to develop a mailing list for vendors to receive bids based on the products or services they can provide to the state of Texas. Manufacturers, Suppliers, and other vendors wishing to furnish materials, equipment, supplies, and services to the state should apply to be on the CMBL to receive bidding opportunities.

  8. How do I register on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL)?

    To register on the CMBL go to http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/cmbl/.

  9. If a vendor is certified as a HUB and is on the State of Texas HUB Directory why would you want to pay $70 annual fee to get on the CMBL?

    The State of Texas HUB Directory only lists HUBs by name certification number and product description. In order to maximize benefits of the state's HUB program, businesses are encouraged to register on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) to receive Invitations for Bids (IFBs) automatically and have their commodities/services advertised by class-item codes to state agencies. State purchasers are required to use the CMBL to search for vendors for purchases over $5,000.

  10. How is the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' office making a "Good Faith Effort" to assist HUBs?

    Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ Purchasers search for HUB vendors on TPASS's CMBL to find bidders on all of our Goods and Services. Vendors are also encouraged to visit our office to promote their products and services to purchasing staff and agency end-users. We aggressively pursue non-certified HUB eligible vendors and assist them in obtaining State of Texas HUB Certification. In an effort to increase subcontracting opportunities with HUBs, we include a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP) in all formal solicitations $25,000.00 and greater. Primes who commit to subcontracting are required to report monthly the dollars they have spent with HUB subcontractors.

  11. What are the specific bidding requirements the agency must follow?
    Cost Purchasing Procedure
    Up to $5,000 (goods/services) No bids required (non-competitive); state entities may contact one vendor directly.
    $5,000.01 to $25,000 (goods/services) Three informal bids required--Use the “CMBL Only” search criteria and the applicable NIGP Class(es) and Item(s) to locate at least three (3) vendors in the appropriate county, city or district that provide the required good or service, two (2) of which must be HUB vendors.
    More than $25,000.01 for Information Technology (IT)-related goods/services (not available through the Department of Information Resources) Formal Request for Offers (RFOs) must be advertised statewide on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) at http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/.
    More than $25,000.01 for non-IT related goods Formal Invitation for Bids (IFBs) must be solicited by the Comptroller's TPASS division through the state's Open market process--Using the CMBL Only search criteria and the applicable NIGP Class(es) and Item(s) to, locate all vendors who provide the required commodity or service and service the county, city or highway district. Formal Invitation for Bids (IFBs) must be advertised statewide on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) at http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/.

    More than $100,000 for non-IT related services

    Handled by the Comptroller's TPASS division for processing and/or delegation back to the state entity.
  12. How are vendors selected to bid on goods and services for the agency?

    Texas is divided into 25 geographical districts. When an applicant completes a HUB Certification Application, or a Centralized Master Bidders List application, a vendor may elect to bid in all or individual districts by so indicating. Bid invitations for classes and items selected by the applicant will be mailed only for the districts designated on the approved application.

    All "bids" for goods and services expected to cost $25,000 or more will also be posted on the Electronic State Business Daily.

  13. How does the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts hire consultants?

    The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' process for hiring consultants can be accessed at www.window.state.tx.us/ssv/consult.htm.

  14. Who can I contact about the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Mentor Protégé Program?

    Each state agency with a biennial appropriation that exceeds $10 million shall implement a Mentor-Protégé Program. The State of Texas Mentor Protégé Program is designed to foster long-term relationships between prime contractors and Texas Certified HUBs. The objective of the Mentor Protégé Program is to provide professional guidance and support to the Protégé (HUB) in order to facilitate their growth and development and increase HUB contracts with the State of Texas. All participation is voluntary.

    For additional information about the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ Mentor Protégé Program, please contact our agency’s Internal Purchasing HUB Program Specialist at 512-463-4120.

    For information regarding other state agencies’ Mentor Protégé Programs, please contact the specific agency’s HUB Coordinator. Lists of the state agencies and HUB Coordinators are available online at esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/agaddress/addresslist.cfm or www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/pub/downloads/.

  15. Once a vendor has been awarded a state contract and the vendor has provided goods or services to a state agency, how soon before payment is made?

    Texas' "prompt payment law" establishes when some types of payments are due. The law states that payments for goods and services are due 30 days after the goods are provided, the services completed, or a correct invoice is received, whichever is later. For additional information visit the State of Texas Payment Processing Information for Vendors site.

  16. I wish to enhance my knowledge of doing business with state agencies, what Economic Opportunity Forums (EOF) are available for me to attend?

    Please refer to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Web site, at http://hub.cpa.state.tx.us/eof/, for a listing of EOF's scheduled during this fiscal year.

  17. How do I complete a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP)?

    In an effort to improve vendor compliance when completing the HSP, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has posted an audio/video file that explains, in a step by step method, how to accurately complete the HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP).

    This is an especially useful tool when there is no pre-bid or pre-proposal conference, in that vendors will see the HSP while simultaneously hearing clear, concise, and step by step instructions on how to accurately complete the HSP.

    The link a video file on how to accurately complete the HSP is: http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/hub/hub-subcontracting-plan/

This information was updated April 21, 2014.

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