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Applying to be on Master Agreements
A master agreement is a preferred vendor list that is held by a LA County department for a specific service or good. There are master agreements for a range of services, from street cleaning to employment and training services. To solicit applicants for a master agreement, departments will produce what is called a Request for Statement of Qualifications (RFSQ), to which applicants must submit a Statement of Qualifications (SoQ) detailing their business’s capabilities, background, and financials.
Most departments look to their master agreements first when soliciting bids as an expedited way of completing a contract. For example, Internal Services Department (ISD), one of the larger LA County departments, uses master agreements for 52% of their expenditures of which most are small to mid-size contracts. Once a contract reaches the cost of $15,000, however, the department has to solicit bids from the entire public on the ISD website.
Benefits of Master Agreements
Being on a master agreement means that your social enterprise will receive work orders via email, which are county contract solicitations in a simplified and expedited form. Additionally, department purchasers are even more incentivized to solicit you since you have already been vetted in the application process.
REDF is encouraging all social enterprises in Los Angeles to apply to be on the master agreement in order:
- To receive more bid solicitations
- To simplify the bidding process
Before you apply, be sure that your social enterprise:
- Has a good track record with several business references
- Keeps meticulous and audited financial documents
- Can dedicate the time to spend on the SoQ
Step 1 – Identify open and relevant RFSQs for your social enterprise
First, you will want to identify open and relevant RFSQs for your social enterprise. You can find open opportunities on the Internal Services Department website. Additionally, REDF has created a resource of some open RFSQs that may be relevant to social enterprises here.
Step 2 – Complete Statement of Qualifications
Once you find an open and relevant RFSQ, you can download the document which will contain the relevant application information. The requirements for submission vary by department, service, and RFSQ, but most will require at least these three things:
- 3 references from previous contracts (they don’t have to be with LA County)
- 3 references that say you are a stable and capable business to contract with LA county
- Audited financial documents (statement of financial position, statement of cash flow, and income statement)
Once on a master agreement, your social enterprise is not guaranteed the opportunity to contract with the county, you will be opened up to a number of opportunities for solicitations for contracts. You can explore some relevant open master agreements here.