CATS+ MBE/SBE/VSBE Participation

EFFECTIVE June 9, 2014, GOSBA revised all MBE procedures, forms and reports . Note that CATS+ Specific forms are located in the Agency Service Center.

New regulations for MBE and VSBE prime contractors:
MBE: New regulations effective June 9, 2014, allow a certified MBE prime contractor to apply up to fifty-percent (50%) of the MBE participation goal (overall) and up to one hundred percent (100%) of not more than one of the MBE participation subgoals, if any, established for the contract.

VSBE: New regulations effective March 16, 2015, allow a certified VSBE prime contractor to apply up to one hundred percent (100%) of the VSBE participation goals established for the contract.



The information on this page provides guidance to CATS+ contract users tasked with setting Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Veteran Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) goals for CATS+ Task Order Request for Proposals (TORFP). The objective is to establish reasonable and attainable MBE and VSBE goals for each task order.

MBE Goals

The overall CATS+ Master Contract MBE subcontractor participation goal is 20 % with sub-goals for Women-owned of 8 %, African American-owned of 7 % and Hispanic American-owned of 2 % for the aggregate of all task orders awarded. This does not mean that every TORFP must set a 20% goal; some will be higher and some will be lower, depending upon the pertinent circumstances of each task order.

MBE goals must be evaluated on an individual task order basis, with the objective to establish a reasonable and attainable MBE goal, given the specifics of the TORFP scope of work and other factors as discussed below. Establishing an appropriate MBE goal will minimize the need for waivers, a benefit to both State agencies and Master Contractors.

If the task order value is over $200,000, each agency is required to provide the rationale behind the recommended MBE goal using the CATS+ MBE/SBR/VSBE Participation Worksheet and the MBE Subgoal worksheet.  Find more information on the MBE Subgoal Directive on GOSBA's site.

The worksheets help establish an appropriate MBE goal that complies with the CATS+ Master Contract and is consistent with the MBE Program. The Department of Information Technology (DoIT) will review the CATS+ MBE/VSBE/SBR Participation Worksheet to verify that guidelines are followed and the recommended MBE goal is substantiated.  This worksheet covers both MBE and VSBE goals, so one worksheet can be used for both sets of goals instead of separate sheets.

 Agencies must, at a minimum, include the TORFP Procurement Officer and the department/agency’s MBE Liaison in the TORFP goal setting process.

Recommending MBE Goals

When recommending an MBE goal, an agency should consider knowledge of the industry, project history, elements of the TORFP that can be segmented, and the potentially available MDOT-certified MBE pool.

Take into consideration any existing perspectives or experience. Is this TORFP replacing a current task order or contract? Is there another agency with a current task order or contract in place that is similar to the type of project or service in this TORFP? Based on that analysis, the following questions should be considered:

  • Is the MBE goal for the current TORFP being met? If not, why not?
    • Were the subcontracting opportunities overestimated?
    • Are MBE firms unable to perform the subcontracting services or tasks?
    • Are MBE firms unavailable during the task order term?
    • Was the dollar value of subcontracting opportunities overestimated?
    • Can the underachieved goal be cured?
  • Is the current MBE goal being exceeded?
    • Was the percentage of elements that could be subcontracted underestimated?
    • Was the dollar value of subcontracting opportunities underestimated?

Thoroughly review the elements of the TORFP that are probable subcontracting opportunities. These elements are typically found in TORFP Section 2: Scope of Work. Examples of services and tasks that can be subcontracted include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Billing/invoicing
  • Project management
  • Network engineering
  • Programming
  • Analysis
  • Database management
  • Security
  • Testing
  • Independent verification and validation
  • Advertising
  • Contract administration
  • Staffing
  • Implementation support.

The next step is to search the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) MBE / Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) directory for firms that are certified in the work areas identified as being susceptible to subcontracting. This information can be found at:

To access the most comprehensive list, conduct database searches by:

  1. Appropriate keyword(s)
  2. Specific SIC/NAICS code(s).

While CATS+ Master Contractors are encouraged to use the MBE/DBE firms on the CATS+ Master Contract to meet MBE goals for TORFP’s, they are not limited to this list and may subcontract with any MDOT-certified MBE/DBE firm.

VSBE Goals

Each agency must also set VSBE goals for each CATS+ TORFP and can use the CATS+ MBE/SBR/VSBE Participation Worksheet form to record the goal. The worksheet is used to establish a VSBE goal in compliance with the CATS+ Master Contract and consistent with the VSBE Program. This worksheet covers both MBE and VSBE goals, so one worksheet can be used for both sets of goals instead of separate sheets. Note that the VSBE program is completely separate from the MBE program.

Establish VSBE goals by following a process similar to that used for MBE sub-contractor goals, using the federal government Department of Veterans affairs veteran’s business search site (VETBIZOPS) at:

Please refer to the BPW Advisory 2012-1 Veteran-Owned Business Subcontracting Documentation available online for more information.

Human Trafficking GET HELP

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 24/7 Confidential

1-888-373-7888 233733 More Information
on human trafficking in Maryland

Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with friendly and courteous, timely and responsive, accurate and consistent, accessible and convenient, and truthful and transparent services.

Take Our Survey

Help Stop Fraud in State Government

The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

More Information