The State of Rhode Island, Department of Administration, Office of Diversity Equity and Opportunity (ODEO) oversees the state's efforts to diversify its public contracting sector.
One of ODEO's main responsibilities is to certify companies as minority-owned business (MBE). Woman-owned businesses are considered MBEs for the purposes of ODEO's program. With this certification, firms can gain a competitive edge on their bids, since all state departments and agencies have MBE purchasing goals.
All MBE applications must be submitted to the ODEO office, which takes eight to ten weeks to process an application.
Does this local/state program offer reciprocal certifications with other local/state programs? ODEO is the sole certifying authority for the MBE program in Rhode Island.
Does this certification expire? MBEs must provide a no-change affidavit on an annual basis, and are subject to more substantive reviews (including site visits and interviews) every five years.
Does this program require bidders attempt to make a good-faith effort to meet participation goals? Yes, bidders, must make a good-faith effort to meet the participation goal on projects to which such a goal has been attached.