|(a) A person may challenge the eligibility of a firm
certified or seeking to be certified as an SBE.
(b) A challenge must be in writing, signed and dated
by the challenger, and set forth the factual basis for the challenge.
(c) After receiving a challenge, the department will
determine if there is reason to believe, on the basis of the information
provided by the challenger, that the firm is not eligible.
(d) To the extent allowed by law, the department will
keep the identity of a challenger confidential unless otherwise authorized
by the challenger. The department will advise the challenger that
if keeping the identity of the challenger confidential hinders the
investigation, the investigation may be closed.
(e) The department will review the challenged firm's
record, any material provided by that firm and the challenger, and
other available information. All parties to the challenge must cooperate
with the review.
(f) If the department determines that there is reasonable
cause to believe that the challenged firm is ineligible, the department
will provide a written notice to the firm proposing to find the firm
ineligible, stating the reasons for the proposed determination, and
offering the firm the opportunity to present information and arguments
in writing. If the challenged firm fails to respond to the notice
before the 15th working day after the date that the notice is sent,
the certification is withdrawn or the application is denied, as appropriate.
(g) If the department determines that there is not
reasonable cause to believe that the challenged firm is ineligible,
the department will notify the challenger in writing of the determination
and the reason for it.