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  1. Q: What are the benefits of certification?
  2. Q: What is the cost, and how long does it take to become certified?
  3. Q: What is the difference between "certification" and "pre-qualification"?
  4. Q: How secure is the personal and financial information submitted for the certification purposes?
  5. Q: What is the difference between a DBE, WBE and MBE?
  6. Q: What is reciprocity?
  7. Q: Once a company is certified how does it obtain business?
  8. Q: Does certification guarantee contract awards?

 

Q: What are the benefits of certification?

A: Once a company is certified it can bid on contracts and is included in NJ TRANSIT's directory of small businesses. Each company in the directory is given a code (SIC/NAICS) established by the U.S. Small Business Administration's size standards. These codes indicate the kind of services the company performs. The directory also offers prime contractors a quick and up-to-date reference of qualified small businesses in the New Jersey area. Finally, certification permits vendors to attend pre-bid conferences on upcoming state and federal contracts, a reliable source of potential contract work.

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Q: What is the cost, and how long does it take to become certified?

A: There is no cost involved in certification. Applicants must, however, agree to a review of their financial status and a mandatory on-site visit to verify eligibility in the program. Certification applications are normally processed and completed within 30 days.

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Q: What is the difference between "certification" and "pre-qualification"?

A: Certification is the process of proving eligibility as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and/or Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). It involves a thorough review by the authorizing agency of your company's expertise and financial background.

Pre-qualification is a process a vendor undergoes to qualify for a specific contract. It involves a review of a vendor's financial capability, references and list of similar contracts demonstrating the ability to carry out desired services.

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Q: How secure is the personal and financial information submitted for certification purposes?

A: No personal information gathered in the certification review process is ever released. All financial information is held in the strictest confidentiality allowed under the law.

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Q: What is the difference between a DBE, WBE and MBE?

A: A DBE is eligible to bid on federally-funded contract work. For state contracts, a DBE must obtain certification from the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission. WBEs and MBEs can only bid on state contracts. They too must obtain certification from the state.

It is to the economic advantage of most companies to obtain status as either a DBE/MBE or DBE/WBE. In doing so, companies can bid on both state and federal jobs.

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Q: What is reciprocity?

A: Reciprocity means an authorizing agency (for example, NJ TRANSIT,) will accept another agency's certification approval (NJ Department of Transportation) based on existing federal regulations (49 CFR. Part 26).

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Q: Once a company is certified how does it obtain business?

A: Vendors can call NJ TRANSIT's toll free Contract Hotline: 1-877-658-5160. The hotline is a 24-hour voice-mail system that provides information on upcoming NJ TRANSIT contract opportunities as well as Pre-Bid conferences and meetings. Bid listings are also published in The Star Ledger newspaper.

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Q: Does certification guarantee contract awards?

A: No. However, companies that are certified receive free advertising and exposure to potential prime contractors through NJ TRANSIT's vendor directory and promotional efforts organized by the Office Of Business Diversity. Certification also assures the prime contractor that your company is a registered entity able to provide services for profit.

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