Good Faith Effort Best Practices

Follow these best practices to help ensure that the good faith effort you turn in with your bid is rock-solid.

Advertise early

Once you decide you are bidding on a project with good faith effort requirements, don't wait to advertise the good faith effort notices in trade and focus journals, as well as general circulation publications. The longer the advertisements run, the more likely they'll be seen by the DBE, MBE, WBE, DVBE, or SBE subcontractors and suppliers you need to meet your subcontract goal. Plus, if you are unable to meet the goal and must rely on documentation of your good faith effort to claim a waiver, you'll be able to demonstrate that subcontractors were provided the maximum amount of time to find and respond to the good faith ads.

Double-check the certifications

In many places of the country, government at various levels - local, state, and/or federal - label their small, minority, and women business certifications with similar, seemingly-interchangeable acronyms like DBE, MBE, WBE, and SBE. If you are bidding on a contract that has good faith effort outreach requirements, don't assume you know which database to pull companies from just because the certification looks familiar. Instead, make sure that you use the business directories listed in the contract's specifications to find certified subcontractors and suppliers.

Follow-up on your invitations to bid

Don't stop at sending potential DBE, MBE, WBE, DVBE, and/or SBE subcontractors and suppliers invitations to bid by fax and email. Most good faith efforts also require that bidders follow-up with telephone calls.

Try to meet the goal

If you make a half-hearted effort to meet a contract goal - whether by contacting only a handful of certified DBEs, MBEs, WBEs, or SBEs or skipping good faith steps outlined in the contract specifications - it'll show in your good faith documentation, and that could jeopardize your bid.