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What is a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB)?

A historically underutilized business (HUB) is a for-profit business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more people who are economically disadvantaged because they are members certain groups including:

  • Black Americans.
  • Hispanic Americans.
  • Asian Pacific Americans.
  • Native Americans.
  • Women.

A HUB must demonstrate that these proportionate-interest owners actively participate in the control, operation, and management of the business' affairs. A HUB must also have its principal place of business in the State of Texas.

HUB Certification

All businesses in the DFPS HUB Program must be certified by the Texas Procurement and Support Services Division (TPASS) of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the agency which oversees state purchasing. There is no fee to become certified as a HUB vendor. Certified HUBs are listed on a HUB database that all state agencies can access.

Vendors who want to become certified HUBs may contact the HHS HUB program administrator or the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to get an application. Vendor information and HUB applications are available on the Comptroller's website. You can also get application forms by writing to the Comptroller of Public Accounts, 1711 San Jacinto, Austin, Texas 78711, or by calling Bid Services at (888) 472-0500.

Program Purpose

The program promotes using HUBs for procuring goods and services and provides information on the state's procurement process. State law requires all state entities that receive $10 million dollars of funding in a biennium to have a HUB Program administrator or coordinator (Texas Government Code 2161.062(e)).

HUB administrators demonstrate good faith effort in State contracting by:

  1. Helping state agencies develop their procurement specifications, HUB subcontracting plans, and evaluating contracts for compliance.
  2. Reporting, communicating, and providing expenditures and HUB participation information internally and externally.
  3. Facilitating compliance with the agency's good faith effort criteria by marketing and outreach efforts for HUB participation.

The agencies must also have a Mentor-Protégé program that fosters learning relationships for certified HUBs.

Program Goals

HUB programs are governed by the Texas Administrative Rules, which reflect the results of a 2009 disparity study. Agencies may achieve the statewide HUB goals from the disparity study or agency-specific HUB goals from their Legislative Appropriations Requests. Agencies may achieve these goals by contracting directly with HUBs or through subcontracting opportunities.

Mentor-Protégé Program

The State of Texas' Mentor-Protégé Program helps foster long-term relationships between prime contractors and HUBs. DFPS supports the Mentor-Protégé Program. For further information, see the HHS HUB program.

The Health and Human Services (HHS) System HUB Program

While DFPS is an independent state agency, DFPS has a cooperative HUB program with HHS that allows HUB vendors (upon invitation) to present to the HHS HUB Administrators, along with the following agencies:

The HHS System agencies and DFPS also share a purchasing department, Procurement and Contracting Services (PCS), that either procures some or all of the necessary goods and services for that agency. 

In accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2161, DFPS seeks to:

  • Help businesses get state HUB certification.
  • Educate HUB vendors about the agency's procurement policies and procedures.
  • Increase the number of HUB vendors contacted for procurement opportunities.
  • Encourage HUB vendors to participate in the agency's purchasing process.
  • Inform HUB vendors about DFPS procurement opportunities.
  • Ensure that prime contractors provide subcontracting opportunities for HUB vendors.

Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) HUB Program

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) understands and supports Texas law regarding Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program. We are committed to make consistent efforts to include HUBs in procurement opportunities and to instill competition from business enterprises in providing goods and services required by agency staff and our clients. DFPS will make every effort to participate in cost effective recruitment of HUBs and to improve methods that identify available business opportunities. We will also take logical steps to ensure procurement and management staff adheres to respective statutory and fiscal responsibilities.

We hope that HUBs, all other business enterprises, and oversight entities view our commitment and practices as fair and fiscally responsible.

For more information on how small, minority and woman-owned enterprises can do business with DFPS, contact HHS HUB Program Administrator.

Department of Family and Protective Services Contracting

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts regulations govern all state procurement. However, the Comptroller delegates authority to state agencies to make certain purchases. DFPS uses the methods described below to acquire goods and services, depending on the total anticipated cost and the type of requested items.

DFPS is comprised of Adult Protective Services (APS), Child Protective Services (CPS), Residential Child Care (RCC), and Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI). Although DFPS has offices throughout the state, the agency's purchasing functions are primarily centralized at the state headquarters in Austin.

Procurement and Contracting Services (PCS), the HHS Agency purchasing unit, purchases Client Services on behalf of DFPS.

DFPS also purchases a wide variety of commodities and services that support the programs delivering services to our clients. These goods and services are considered "administrative" purchases and are also purchased by HHS-PCS. Most routine orders for administrative purchases are items such as office furniture, IT equipment, and supplies.

DFPS commonly makes "commodity" purchases (office furniture, etc.) through term contracts established by the Comptroller. Computer and telecommunications related purchases are made through the Department of Information Resources (DIR) Co-op contracts, which make up a significant portion of the agency's expenditures.

All state procurement opportunities over $25,000.00 are on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) , which is operated by the Comptroller. The DFPS agency number is 530.

State Fiscal Year

The State of Texas' fiscal year begins September 1st and ends on August 31st. The summer months from June to August are usually DFPS' busiest time for establishing and renewing contracts.

Typical DFPS Purchases

Good or Service Purchasing Method
Client Services Competitive or Non-Competitive *
Audio Visual Equipment DIR Co-op Contracts
Building Maintenance and Repair Texas Facilities Commission
Cabling Services DIR Contract/Telecom
Cell phone Service DIR Contract/Telecom
Computer Equipment and Supplies DIR Co-op Contracts
Computer Hardware/Software maintenance DIR Co-op Contracts
Computer Programming Services DIR Co-op Contracts
Computer Software DIR Co-op Contracts
Electrical Services Texas Facilities Commission
Janitorial Services Texas Industries for the Blind and Handicapped
Office Equipment and Supplies "Smart Buy" or Term Contract
Technical Temporary Services DIR I.T. Staffing Contracts
Telecommunications Equipment Maintenance and Repair DIR
Toner for Fax and printers "Smart Buy" or DIR
Training DIR Co-op Contracts
Translation Services Competitive Bid/Enterprise Contract

Client Service Contracting

DFPS publishes our procurement plan for those who want to learn about client service procurements and contracting opportunities.

DFPS Purchasing Methods

Comptroller Term Contracts

The Comptroller of Public Accounts establishes term contracts for specific goods and services based on the state's overall needs. Agencies must purchase these goods and services from the term contracts whenever the items meet their functional requirements. However, agencies may obtain orders below specified dollar amounts ("spot option limits") from sources other than contract vendors.

Delegated Purchases

HHS-PCS has the purchasing authority for DFPS client service contracts, and administrative purchases. Those purchases are conducted by Procurement and Contracting Services (PCS).

The methods and bidding requirements outlined below apply to purchases that have been delegated to state agencies by the Comptroller of Public Accounts. These are the minimum bidding requirements needed to satisfy Comptroller's rules and procedures.

Call and Order
Goods and Services $ 0.01 - $5,000.00
For small purchases that do not require competitive bidding, an authorized individual within DFPS may issue a purchase order after obtaining pricing from a single vendor.

Informal Competitive Bid

Goods and Services $5,000.01 - $10,000.00
DFPS purchasers solicit a minimum of three informal bids from prospective vendors by telephone or with an informal pricing request. Two of the three bids must be sought from HUBs. The purchaser tabulates responses and awards the order to the vendor that offers the best value to the agency.

Formal Competitive (Sealed) Bid

Goods $10,000.01 - $25,000.00 / Services $10,000.01 - $100,000.00
For goods or services estimated to exceed $10,000, DFPS issues detailed written specifications, known as either an RFP (Request For Propsal) or IFB (Information For Bid). Vendors must prepare and return responses to DFPS in the manner prescribed in the solicitation.

For purchases up to $25,000.00, purchasers must issue the solicitation to a minimum of three vendors. Two of the three responses must be solicited from HUBs. For services anticipated to cost between $25,000.01 and $100,000.00, bids must be solicited from all eligible bidders listed under the appropriate commodity code on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL). Purchases in excess of $25,000 must also be posted on the ESBD.

Bid openings are open to the public and in an IFB, bid responses will be read aloud if requested. After evaluating the responses received the purchaser will make an award to the bidder whose response represents the best value to DFPS. All responses become public record following the award.

To increase the bidder pool, DFPS also sends notice of all procurements posted on the ESBD to those registered on GovDelivery.com (register here).

For more information about state purchasing procedures, review the State of Texas Procurement Manual.

HUB Subcontracting Plan

According to Texas law*, each state agency that wants to enter into a contract with an expected value of $100,000 over the life of the contract (including any renewal terms) shall determine if subcontracting opportunities are probable under the contract. This must happen before the agency solicits bids, proposals, offers or other applicable expressions of interest.

If subcontracting opportunities are probable, each state agency's invitation for bids or other purchase solicitation documents shall state that probability and require a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP).

If the agency has determined that probable subcontracting opportunities have been identified in the scope of work, then all vendors, (HUB and Non-HUB), must include a completed HUB Subcontracting Plan with their response.

If your response to a solicitation does not contain a HUB subcontracting plan, the state agency will reject your response as a material failure to comply with advertised specifications.

*Texas Government Code, Section 2161.252, as applied to state agencies defined by Texas Government Code, Section 2151.002.

Vendor Selection

DFPS gets the names of prospective vendors from the Comptroller's Centralized Master Bidders List and HUB Directory. Vendors who would like to do business with the agency may contact DFPS Purchasing staff or the Comptroller of Public Accounts and request a CMBL/HUB application. You can download the application from the Comptroller's website.

DFPS constantly seeks quality vendors who can fulfill the agency's needs in a timely and efficient manner at a competitive price.

HHS HUB Program Contacts

To receive more information on the HUB Program, please contact the HHS HUB Program Office.