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DVBE Program Information


California Natural Resources Agency

California Natural Resources Agency

Governor's Office Economic Development
GoED Governor's Office of Economic Development

California Department of Veterans Affairs
California Department of Veterans Affairs

Small Business Administration
Federal Small Business Administration


California Department of Veterans Affairs

The Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program (DVBE) was established in 1989 to acknowledge California disabled veterans for their sacrifice and service to the State. The program mandates DVBE participation in state contracting to promote competition and encourage greater economic opportunity for DVBE contractors. Agencies and departments are legislatively mandated to meet annual goals of 3% DVBE participation statewide and ensure a portion of the state's overall annual contract dollars are awarded to certified DVBE businesses.

As a certified DVBE firm, you are eligible to partner with a bidder seeking DVBE sub-contractors for services or commodities related to the performance of work awarded to the prime firm. The Office of Small and DVBE Services (OSDS) is the office responsible for the DVBE certification process and will assist you with any questions or concerns about the process.

Because most DVBE businesses are also small businesses, the DWR strongly encourages DVBE firms to become small business certified when they also meet the Small business certification and eligibility requirements. Small Business certification offers its own advantages during the bidding process as well as providing additional small business prompt payment benefits.


In January 1, 2002 Government Code 14838.5 was amended to include certified DVBE businesses under the SB Option process. The DVBE Option allows Departments to solicit a minimum of two certified DVBE businesses to obtain price quotes for goods, IT goods and services, and personal services between $5,001 and up to $249,999.00, and up to $147,000 for public works. Because the Option is considered an "informal" bid process no provisions for protest are included, nor are there advertising requirements. The benefit to using the DVBE Option bid process is an immediate award to the DVBE business community for the full value of the contract rather than a subcontracted commitment level and full credit to the Department in its annual DVBE participation goals.


Under SB 115, the opportunity for a DVBE incentive is offered to qualified bidders committing to the use of a certified DVBE subcontractor when responding to a State solicitation. The level of incentive applied is equal to the level of DVBE participation to which the bidder commits. The allowable range of incentive application is between 1 and 5 percent. For instance, if a bidder identifies four percent DVBE commitment, the Incentive offered will be equal to four percent and is calculated against the low bidder's bid and that total is subtracted from the bid amount to get the adjusted bid total. The adjusted bid total will be used to rank the firm against other bidders and may place them in line for bid award.

For solicitations using high-point awards, the incentive is calculated using the firm’s commitment level factored by the solicitations total possible points that may be achieved. These points are then added to the firm’s points.

No more than 5 percent incentive may be applied. The incentive calculation is used for evaluation purposes only and application of the DVBE Incentive may not be used to displace a certified small business-low bidder with that of a non-small business. It is possible to displace a small business with another business achieving high points through application of the DVBE incentive.

DWR Bids that Require DVBE Participation

For DWR bids that require bidders to comply with DVBE program requirements in their bid responses, the minimum Incentive offered shall be three (3) percent and the highest offered will be five (5) percent. As bidders must comply with program requirements in order to be considered for bid award, the DVBE Incentive applied will be consistent with the level of the bidder’s stated DVBE commitment. Those firms that do not comply with DVBE program requirements as specified in the bid document cannot be considered and will have their bid rejected.

DWR Bids Exempt from DVBE Participation

The Department may decide it’s in its best interest to exempt, or waive, a solicitation effort from DVBE program requirements. In this case, it is DWR’s policy to include the DVBE Incentive in the solicitation and offer the opportunity to bidders. The level of Incentive is from one (1) percent to five (5) percent. Qualified bidders electing to commit to DVBE firms will have their bids adjusted based on the level of participation.

The Incentive applied is for evaluation purposes only, and awards resulting from the application of the Incentive will be awarded at the bid price offered.

Additional DVBE Resources
Search for Certified DVBE Firms
DVBE Regulations
DVBE Incentive Program
DVBE and Small Business Program Violations and Sanctions