Subcontracting Outreach Program (SOP)
The City of Columbia is committed to maximizing subcontracting opportunities for all qualified and available firms. Details on the Subcontracting Outreach Program can be found in the SOP Guidelines. Below are several frequently asked questions to familiarize yourself with the program and its guidelines:
SOP Frequently Asked Question
When does this apply?
The Subcontracting Outreach Program applies to City-funded construction contracts of $200,000 or more. When Federal or State funding sources impose additional requirements, those requirements as defined in the contract documents replace the requirements of this program.
What about for Design/Build RFPs?
Sometimes the City will advertise a request for proposals (RFP) for design/build services. Design/Build RFPs with SOP requirements use a different set of procedures and guidelines. Details on the Subcontracting Outreach Program for Design-Build projects can be found in the SOP Design-Build Guidelines.
I want to bid on a project with SOP requirements. Do I need to apply for this program?
You do not pre-apply for this program. The Subcontracting Outreach Program requires bidders to make subcontracting opportunities available to a broad base of qualified subcontractors and achieve a minimum level of subcontractor participation. Details on specific required levels of participation can be found in the SOP Guidelines.
How do I make subcontracting opportunities available?
In addition to subcontracting out a minimum level of project work, you will need to document your good-faith effort to allow Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE), and Other Business Enterprises (OBE) to have an equal opportunity to compete for inclusion in your bid to the City. Rules for how to carry out this good-faith effort is outlined in the SOP Guidelines.
How do I demonstrate a "good-faith" effort?
You will need to document your good-faith efforts as outlined in the SOP Guidelines. Your documentation will be evaluated for 10 indicators of good-faith effort and given a points-based score (see Contractor Score Sheet). You will need to earn 80 out of 100 possible points. If you do not earn at least 80 points, your bid will be considered non-responsive and be rejected.
I want to be a subcontractor on a project with SOP requirements. How do I become involved?
Potential contractors will advertise their intent to bid on the City project in various trade journals and local papers. Keep an eye out for these solicitations and respond to them. You will need to negotiate with the potential contractor for your portion of the bid proposal. As part of the bid package, you will need to provide a Contractor Vendor Qualification Statement.
What should I expect from the SOP requirements if my bid is the winning bid?
The SOP Compliance Team will attend all construction meetings between you and the City. They will also conduct periodic site visits. You and any subcontractors on site should be prepared to answer any of their questions during these visits. The SOP Compliance Team will also review any pay requests to determine if they accurately reflect estimates submitted in the bid.
What if I need to substitute a subcontractor or submit a change order for the project?
You should make the SOP Compliance Team aware of the need for any changes BEFORE you make them. The SOP Compliance Team will work with you to see that any additional paperwork is properly filled out and filed.
I have more questions that are not answered here.
Contact the SOP Compliance Team at 1401 Main St., 4th FL, Columbia, SC 29201 or phone (803) 545 4185.
Contact OBO Compliance Office at 803.545.4185 | OBO Main Office at 803.545.3950