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RULE §20.288Certification Process

(a) A business seeking certification as a HUB must submit an application to the comptroller in a form prescribed by the comptroller, affirming under penalty of perjury that the business qualifies as a HUB.

(b) If requested by the comptroller, the applicant must provide any and all materials and information necessary to demonstrate an economically disadvantaged person's active participation in the control, operation, and management of the HUB.

(c) It shall be the burden of the person claiming Texas residency to prove their status through submission of adequate and appropriate documentation. Such documentation may include, but is not limited to, a current valid Texas driver's license or I.D. card, voter registration card showing Texas address, appraisal statement for Texas real property (including whether a homestead exemption was claimed for that real property), or recent paid utility statements. The comptroller shall certify the applicant as a HUB or provide the applicant with written justification of its denial of certification within 90 days after the date the comptroller receives a satisfactorily completed application from the applicant.

(d) The comptroller reviews and evaluates applications, and may reject an application based on one or more of the following:

  (1) the application is not satisfactorily completed;

  (2) the applicant does not meet the requirements of the definition of HUB;

  (3) the application contains false information;

  (4) the applicant does not provide required information in connection with the certification review conducted by the comptroller; or

  (5) the applicant's record of performance on any prior contracts with the state.

(e) The comptroller may approve the existing certification program of one or more local governments or nonprofit organizations in this state that certify historically underutilized businesses, minority business enterprises, women's business enterprises, or disadvantaged business enterprises that substantially fall under the same definition, to the extent applicable for HUBs found in Government Code, §2161.001, and maintain them on the comptroller's Historically Underutilized Businesses List, if the local government or nonprofit organization:

  (1) meets or exceeds the standards established by the comptroller as set out in this subchapter; and

  (2) agrees to the terms and conditions as required by statute relative to the agreement between the local government and/or nonprofits for the purpose of certification of HUBs.

(f) The agreement in subsection (e) of this section must take effect immediately and contain conditions as follows:

  (1) allow for automatic certification of businesses certified by the local government or nonprofit organization as prescribed by the comptroller;

  (2) provide for the efficient updating of the comptroller database containing information about HUBs and potential HUBs as prescribed by the comptroller;

  (3) provide for a method by which the comptroller may efficiently communicate with businesses certified by the local government or nonprofit organization;

  (4) provide those businesses with information about the state's Historically Underutilized Business Program; and

  (5) require that a local government or nonprofit organization that enters into an agreement under subsection (e) of this section, complete the certification of an applicant with written justification of its certification denial within the period established by the comptroller in its rules for certification.

(g) The comptroller will not accept the certification of a local government or nonprofit organization that charges for the certification of businesses to be listed on the Historically Underutilized Business List maintained by the comptroller.

(h) The comptroller may terminate an agreement made under this section if a local government or nonprofit organization fails to meet the standards established by the comptroller for certifying HUBs. In the event of the termination of an agreement, those HUB's that were certified as a result of the agreement will maintain their HUB status during the fiscal year in which the agreement was in effect. Those HUB's who are removed from the HUB list as a result of the termination of an agreement with a local government or nonprofit organization may apply directly to the comptroller for certification as a HUB.

(i) The comptroller will send all certified HUBs an orientation packet including a certificate, description of certification value/significance, list of state agency purchasers, and information regarding electronic commerce, the Texas Marketplace, and the state procurement process.

(j) The certification is valid for a four-year period beginning on the date TPASS certified the applicant as a HUB.

Source Note: The provisions of this §20.288 adopted to be effective January 24, 2017, 42 TexReg 235

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