Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 788 into law a few weeks ago, officially repealing the termination date of the state’s small business set-aside program, the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, and making it a permanent component of Maryland’s state procurement program. It also designates full oversight of the SBR Program with the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (which had previously been shared with the Department of General Services). When the legislation takes effect on July 1st, we will be responsible for establishing program guidelines, maintaining the list of qualified SBR vendors, ensuring agency compliance, providing training and technical assistance to agency personnel and collecting data regarding utilization of SBR vendors. Stay tuned for updates!
Prime and subcontractors doing business with the State of Maryland should check out House Bill 403. It prohibits a State agency from requiring a prime contractor to begin work on a change order under until the State procurement officer issues a written change order that specifies whether the work is to proceed in compliance with the contract terms as written or on some other basis such as “time and materials” or mutually “agreed-to-price,” to name a few. Similarly, a prime contractor cannot force a subcontractor to begin work on a change order
unless the same conditions are met. This law takes effect on July 1st.