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DDC Creates City Government’s First Exclusive List of Pre-Qualified M/WBE General Contractors

Ian Michaels, 646-939-6514,

(Long Island City, NY – July 13, 2022) NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley announced today that DDC has established City government’s first Pre-Qualified List (PQL) that is limited to M/WBE (Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) general contractors. Firms on the list have the exclusive right to bid on the agency’s general construction projects valued from $500,000 up to $2.99 million. A Pre-Qualified List allows DDC to speed up projects by reducing the time it takes to review vendors’ backgrounds and qualifications prior to awarding construction contracts.

“As a City, we are committed to supporting our M/WBE firms, helping them build capacity, and using smart and innovative procurement tools to direct more and larger contracts to these firms,” said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. “Introducing the City’s first-ever M/WBE exclusive Pre-Qualified List at DDC will help speed up projects at the agency and it helps deliver on a key initiative from our Blueprint for Economic Recovery. This is an important step forward for our M/WBEs and will help our City toward a more equitable recovery.”

“Nurturing emerging firms and M/WBEs addresses historic inequities in the market, increases the number of companies that can bid on our projects and helps us to become more culturally competent as an agency,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “DDC was already one of the leading agencies for M/WBE contract awards and this PQL plus innovations like our new mentoring program will expand on that success.”

“Diversity does not just happen, we have to design and implement initiatives such as this one to bring about equity and access to opportunity,” said DDC Executive Deputy Commissioner Magalie D. Austin. “This important step will help M/WBEs build capacity in the high-demand field of construction.”

A Pre-Qualified List is a tool for City government procurement in which companies are pre-screened for their ability to complete certain projects as well as their history of regulatory compliance. Companies that apply for and then pass that review earn the exclusive right to bid on certain types of City contracts. Use of a PQL is estimated to save DDC approximately three months during the contracting process.

M/WBE firms on the new PQL will be able to bid to perform general construction work for projects with an estimated construction cost of $500,000 to less than $3,000,000.

DDC is the City’s leading capital construction agency and builds and upgrades municipal buildings such as firehouses, clinics and libraries, and projects awarded under the new PQL will involve those types of public buildings including interior renovations, HVAC, fire suppression, facades, roofs and building-wide system upgrades.

DDC is one of the City’s leading agencies for contract awards to M/WBEs, and in Fiscal Year 2021 its M/WBE utilization rate on projects subject to Local Law 1 was nearly 26 percent, with 334 total contracts valued at $660 million. The year prior, 440 contracts were awarded with a value of $335 million, a utilization rate of nearly 32 percent.

Commissioner Foley announced the appointment of Magalie Austin as DDC’s new Executive Deputy Commissioner overseeing DDC’s Office of Diversity & Industry Relations and its M/WBE program in May. Ms. Austin was most recently a Senior Advisor to the Mayor as well as head of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs.

The agency recently launched City government’s only mentoring program for M/WBEs and small construction firms. In March, half of the agency’s new round of architectural design contracts under its Project Excellence Program were awarded to M/WBEs, bringing additional cultural understanding to the agency’s public buildings designs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, under more lenient construction rules allowed by the State’s Emergency Health Declaration, DDC built field hospitals, testing and vaccination sites, clinics and more with high rates of M/WBE participation, including 46 percent of the $117 million construction budget for three new COVID Centers of Excellence for the City’s public hospital system.

DDC’s new PQL currently has seven firms, but others may still apply. Firms must have successfully completed during the past five years as either a prime contractor or subcontractor at least three general construction projects with a cost range between $1,500,000 and $3,000,000. Firms must also have completed at least one project which included interior renovation and mechanical, electrical and/or plumbing system upgrades, and must demonstrate the financial ability to support a project of the size that would be solicited under the PQL. Firms must be a New York City-certified M/WBE or a qualified joint venture.

The City’s PQLs are available for viewing through PASSport, the City online procurement portal:

DDC’s new M/WBE PQL for general construction projects can be seen here:

To learn more about how eligible firms can become certified as an M/WBE, please visit Certify With the City.

Applications to be added to the new PQL should be submitted through PASSport. lnformation on how to submit an application or register for PASSPort is here

Questions about PASSPort registration should be directed to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Contract Services here.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit