1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Executive
  4. Article 15-A: Participation By Minority Group Members and Women With Respect to State Contracts


Section 314 Statewide certification program

Executive (EXC)

1. The director shall promulgate rules and regulations providing for the establishment of a statewide certification program including rules and regulations governing the approval, denial or revocation of any such certification including revocations for convictions for fraudulently misrepresenting the status of minority or women-owned business enterprises. Such rules shall set forth the maximum personal net worth of a minority group member or woman who may be relied upon to certify a business as a minority-owned business enterprise or women-owned business enterprise with a minimum personal net worth threshold of fifteen million dollars, and may thereafter establish different maximum levels of personal net worth for minority group members and women on an industry-by-industry basis for such industries as the director shall determine. Such regulations relating to the classification of the industry-by-industry personal net worth thresholds above the fifteen million dollar threshold shall consider the personal net worth of the owners of both certified and non-certified businesses, including but not limited to, prime contractors and subcontractors, as well as any such other factors needed to establish such thresholds. Such rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, such matters as may be required to ensure that the established procedures thereunder shall at least be in compliance with the code of fair procedure set forth in section seventy-three of the civil rights law.

  2. For the purposes of this article, the office shall be responsible for verifying businesses as being owned, operated, and controlled by minority group members or women and for certifying such verified businesses. The director shall prepare a directory of certified businesses for use by contracting agencies and contractors in carrying out the provisions of this article. The director shall periodically, but no less than annually, update the directory.

  2-a. (a) The director shall establish a procedure enabling the office to accept New York municipal corporation certification verification for minority and women-owned business enterprise applicants in lieu of requiring the applicant to complete the state certification process. The director shall promulgate rules and regulations to set forth criteria for the acceptance of municipal corporation certification. All eligible municipal corporation certifications shall require business enterprises seeking certification to meet the following standards:

  (i) have at least fifty-one percent ownership by a minority or a women-owned enterprise and be owned by United States citizens or permanent resident aliens;

  (ii) be an enterprise in which the minority and/or women-ownership interest is real, substantial and continuing;

  (iii) be an enterprise in which the minority and/or women-ownership has and exercises the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions of the enterprise;

  (iv) be an enterprise authorized to do business in this state;

  (v) be subject to a physical site inspection to verify the fifty-one percent ownership requirement;

  (vi) be owned by an individual or individuals, whose ownership, control and operation are relied upon for certification, with a personal net worth that does not exceed fifteen million dollars and such other amount as the director shall set forth in regulations, as adjusted annually for inflation according to the consumer price index; and

  (vii) be an enterprise that is a small business pursuant to subdivision twenty of section three hundred ten of this article.

  (b) The director shall work with all municipal corporations that have a municipal minority and women-owned business enterprise program to develop standards to accept state certification to meet the municipal corporation minority and women-owned business enterprise certification standards.

  (c) The director shall establish a procedure enabling the division to accept federal certification verification for minority and women-owned business enterprise applicants, provided said standards comport with those required by the state minority and women-owned business program, in lieu of requiring the applicant to complete the state certification process. The director shall promulgate rules and regulations to set forth criteria for the acceptance of federal certification.

  2-b. The director shall establish a procedure enabling an applicant who was a military service member to prove his or her race or ethnicity, date of birth, place of birth and verification of address for purposes of certification of the applicant's business as a minority-owned business by submission of the DD Form 214 issued to the applicant by the United States department of defense upon such applicant's retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the armed forces of the United States, provided the DD Form 214 contains such information, in lieu of requiring the applicant to otherwise prove his or her race or ethnicity. The director shall promulgate rules and regulations to set forth criteria for the acceptance of the DD Form 214 by the office.

  2-c. (a) Each business applying for minority or women-owned business enterprise certification pursuant to this section must agree to allow: (i) the department of taxation and finance to share its tax information with the division; and (ii) the department of labor to share its tax and employer information with the division.

  (b) Such information provided pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall be kept confidential by the division as such information is kept by the department of taxation and finance or the department of labor and use of such information shall be limited to the certification application process, or other uses approved or consented to by the business enterprise or applicant.

  3. Following application for certification pursuant to this section, the director shall provide the applicant with written notice of the status of the application, including notice of any outstanding deficiencies, within twenty-one days. Within forty-five days of submission of a final completed application, the director shall provide the applicant with written notice of a determination by the office approving or denying such certification and, in the event of a denial a statement setting forth the reasons for such denial. Upon a determination denying or revoking certification, the business enterprise for which certification has been so denied or revoked shall, upon written request made within thirty days from receipt of notice of such determination, be entitled to a hearing before an independent hearing officer designated for such purpose by the director. In the event that a request for a hearing is not made within such thirty day period, such determination shall be deemed to be final. The independent hearing officer shall conduct a hearing and upon the conclusion of such hearing, issue a written recommendation to the director to affirm, reverse or modify such determination of the director. Such written recommendation shall be issued to the parties. The director, within thirty days, by order, must accept, reject or modify such recommendation of the hearing officer and set forth in writing the reasons therefor. The director shall serve a copy of such order and reasons therefor upon the business enterprise by personal service or by certified mail return receipt requested. The order of the director shall be subject to review pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.

  4. The director may, after performing an availability analysis and upon a finding that industry-specific factors coupled with personal net worth or small business eligibility requirements pursuant to subdivisions nineteen and twenty of section three hundred ten of this article, respectively, have led to the significant exclusion of businesses owned by minority group members or women in that industry, grant provisional MWBE certification status to applicants from that designated industry, provided, however, that all other eligibility requirements pursuant to subdivision seven or fifteen of section three hundred ten of this article, as applicable, are satisfied. Any industry-based determination made under this section by the director shall be made widely available to the public and posted on the division's website.

  5. With the exception of provisional MWBE certification, as provided for in subdivision twenty-three of section three hundred ten of this article, all minority and women-owned business enterprise certifications shall be valid for a period of five years.

  * NB Repealed December 31, 2024