|(a) In accordance with Government Code, §2161.065, the comptroller shall design a Mentor-Protégé Program to foster long-term relationships between prime contractors and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) and to increase the ability of HUBs to contract with the state or to receive subcontracts under a state contract. The objective of the Mentor-Protégé Program is to provide professional guidance and support to the protégé to facilitate their development and growth. All participation is voluntary and program features should remain flexible so as to maximize participation. Each state agency with a biennial appropriation that exceeds $10 million shall implement a Mentor-Protégé Program. (b) In efforts to design a Mentor-Protégé Program, each agency, because of its unique mission and resources, is encouraged to implement a Mentor-Protégé Program that considers; (1) the needs of protégé businesses requesting to be mentored; (2) the availability of mentors who possess unique skills, talents, and experience related to the mission of the agency's program; and (3) the agency's staff and resources. (c) Agencies may elect to implement Mentor-Protégé Programs individually or cooperatively with other agencies, and/or other public entities and private organizations, with skills, resources and experience in Mentor-Protégé Programs. Agencies are encouraged to implement a Mentor-Protégé Program to address the needs of its protégé businesses in the following critical areas of the state's procurements: (1) construction, (2) commodities, and/or (3) services. (d) State agencies may consider, but are not limited to, the following factors in developing their Mentor-Protégé Program: (1) develop and implement internal procedures, including an application process, regarding the Mentor-Protégé Program which identifies the eligibility criteria and the selection criteria for mentors and potential HUB protégé businesses; (2) recruit prime contractor or vendor mentors and protégé to voluntarily participate in the program; (3) establish a Mentor-Protégé Program objective identifying both the roles and expectations of the agency, mentor and the protégé; (4) monitor the progress of the mentor protégé relationship; (5) identify key agency resources including senior managers and procurement personnel to assist with the implementation of the program; (6) encourage partnerships with local governmental and nonprofit entities to implement a community based Mentor-Protégé Program; (7) the appropriate length of time for mentor-protégé relationships to continue. As a general matter, the statewide HUB program recommends that such relationships be limited to four years; (8) explore other methods and procedures related to Mentor-Protégé Programs recommended in the Texas Disparity Study-2009; and (9) assess the effectiveness of their Mentor-Protégé Program by conducting periodic surveys/interviews of both mentors and protégés. (e) An agency's Mentor-Protégé Program must include mentor eligibility and selection criteria. In determining the eligibility and selection of a mentor, state agencies may consider the following criteria: (1) whether the mentor is a registered bidder on the comptroller's Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL); (2) whether the mentor has extensive work experience and can provide developmental guidance in areas that meet the needs of the protégé, including but not limited to, business, financial, and personnel management; technical matters such as production, inventory control and quality assurance; marketing; insurance; equipment and facilities; and/or other related resources; (3) whether the mentor is in "good standing" with the State of Texas and is not in violation of any state statutes, rules or governing policies; (4) whether the mentor has mentoring experience; (5) the number of protégés that a mentor can appropriately assist; (6) whether the mentor has a successful past work history with the agency; (7) the amount of time a HUB has participated as a mentor in the program, or in other agencies' programs; and (8) whether and to what extent the mentor and protégé businesses share management, board members, partners, current or former employees, or other resources that might indicate that they are related or affiliated businesses. (f) An agency's Mentor-Protégé Program must include protégé eligibility and selection criteria. In determining the eligibility and selection of HUB protégés, state agencies may use the following criteria: (1) whether the protégé is eligible and willing to become certified as a HUB; (2) whether the protégé's business has been operational for at least one year; (3) whether the protégé is willing to participate with a mentoring firm and will identify the type of guidance that is needed for its development; (4) whether the protégé is in "good standing" with the State of Texas and is not in violation of any state statutes, rules or governing policies; (5) whether the protégé is involved in a mentoring relationship with another contractor; (6) the amount of time a HUB has participated as a protégé in the program, or in other agencies' programs; and (7) whether and to what extent the mentor and protégé businesses share management, board members, partners, employees, or other resources that might indicate that they are related or affiliated businesses. (g) The mentor and the protégé should agree on the nature of their involvement under the agency's mentor/protégé initiative. Each agency will monitor the process of the relationship. The mentor and protégé relationship should be reduced to writing and that agreement may include, but is not limited to, the following: (1) identification of the developmental areas in which the protégé needs guidance; (2) the time period which the developmental guidance will be provided by the mentor; (3) name, address, phone and fax numbers, and the points of contact that will oversee the agreement of the mentor and protégé; (4) procedure for a mentor firm to notify the protégé in advance if it intends to voluntarily withdraw from the program or terminate the mentor-protégé relationship; (5) procedure for a protégé firm to notify the mentor in advance if it intends to terminate the mentor-protégé relationship; and (6) a mutually agreed upon timeline to report the progress of the mentor-protégé relationship to the state agency. (h) The protégé must maintain its HUB certification status for the duration of the agreement. If a prime contractor has been awarded a contract with a state agency, which requires a HUB subcontracting plan, and the Mentor-Protégé Agreement is terminated, or the protégé's HUB certification expires, the prime contractor must either: (1) enter into a new agreement with a certified HUB protégé, or (2) comply with the requirements of this title relating to developing and submitting a HUB subcontracting plan. (i) Each agency must notify its mentors and protégés that participation is voluntary. The notice must include written documentation that participation in the agency's Mentor-Protégé Program is neither a guarantee for a contract opportunity nor a promise of business; but the program's intent is to foster positive long-term business relationships. (j) State agencies may demonstrate their good faith under this section by submitting a supplemental letter with documentation to the comptroller with their HUB report or legislative appropriations request identifying the progress and testimonials of mentors and protégés that participate in the agency's program. In accordance with §20.26 of this title (relating to HUB Coordinator Responsibilities) the agency's HUB coordinator shall facilitate compliance by its agency. (k) Each state agency that sponsors a Mentor-Protégé Program must report that information to the comptroller upon completion of a signed agreement by both parties. Information regarding the Mentor-Protégé Agreement shall be reported to the comptroller in a form prescribed by the comptroller within 21 calendar days after the agreement has been signed. The comptroller will register that agreement on the approved list of mentors and protégés. Approved Mentor-Protégé Agreements are valid for all state agencies in determining good faith effort for the particular area of subcontracting to be performed by the protégé as identified in the HUB subcontracting plan. (l) The comptroller shall maintain and make available to state agencies all registered Mentor-Protégé Agreements. The sponsoring agency shall monitor and report the termination of an existing Mentor-Protégé Agreement that has been registered with the comptroller within 21 calendar days.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §20.28 adopted to be effective June 13, 2000, 25 TexReg 5621; amended to be effective May 8, 2002, 27 TexReg 3753; transferred effective September 1, 2007, as published in the Texas Register July 6, 2007, 32 TexReg 4237; amended to be effective September 14, 2011, 36 TexReg 5930