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Supplier Diversity

Good Faith Efforts

The University of Illinois System requires that when diversity goals are not met, Bidders or Proposers may request a change or waiver in those goals and must demonstrate "Good Faith Efforts". The University of Illinois will investigate and determine whether good faith efforts were demonstrated.

The University of Illinois will consider all other evidence of good faith efforts made by the bidder to secure eligible diverse firms to meet the specified goal.

Any Bidder or Proposer requesting a waiver, must document in writing the steps taken to obtain BEP certified vendors as subcontractors. The University of Illinois may require that the vendor provide additional information upon request. 

Below is a checklist of actions that will be used to evaluate a Vendor’s Demonstration of Good Faith Efforts and Request for Waiver. 

☐ Utilize the website: to identify BEP/VSB certified vendors within the respective NIGP Class or Class Item code(s) on the solicitation documents. At a minimum, email all listed vendors with project specifications sufficient to build a quote, then solicit quotes from all vendors who express an interest with follow-up emails and telephone calls. Documentation of these efforts must be submitted as evidence,
including copies of all e-mails sent.

☐ Solicit through all reasonable and available means (e.g., attendance at a vendor conference, advertising, written notices) the interest of BEP/VSB certified vendors that have the capability to perform the work of the contract. Vendor must solicit this interest with sufficient advance time to allow the BEP/VSB certified vendors to respond to the solicitation. Vendor must determine with certainty if the BEP/VSB certified vendors are interested by taking appropriate steps to follow up initial solicitations and encourage them to submit a bid or proposal, providing them with adequate information about the plans, specifications, and requirements of the contract in a timely manner to assist them in responding promptly to the solicitation.

☐ Select portions of the work to be performed by BEP/VSB certified vendors to increase the likelihood that the goal will be achieved. This includes, where appropriate, unbundling contract work items into economically feasible units to facilitate BEP/VSB certified vendor participation, even when Vendor might otherwise prefer to perform these work items with its own forces.

☐ Make a portion of the work available to BEP/VSB certified vendors by selecting portions of the work or needed material based on the availability of BEP/VSB vendors.

☐ Negotiate in good faith with interested BEP/VSB certified vendors. Evidence of such negotiation must include the contacted names, mailing addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of BEP/VSB certified vendors that were considered; a description of the information provided regarding the plans and specifications for the work selected for subcontracting; and evidence as to why additional agreements could not be reached for BEP certified vendors to perform the work. A Vendor using good business judgment may consider many factors in negotiating with BEP/VSB certified vendors and may take a firm’s price and capabilities into consideration. The fact that there may be some additional costs involved in finding and using BEP/VSB certified vendors may not, in itself, be a sufficient reason for a Vendor’s failure to meet the goal, as long as such costs are reasonable. Vendors are not required to accept higher quotes from BEP/VSB certified vendors if the price difference is excessive or unreasonable.

☐ Thoroughly investigate the capabilities of BEP/VSB certified vendors and do not reject them as unqualified without documented reasons. BEP/VSB certified vendors ‘memberships in specific groups, organizations, associations or political/social affiliations are not legitimate causes for the rejection or non-solicitation of bids and proposals in the Vendor’s efforts to meet the goal.

☐ Where subcontractor capacity and/or access to capital prevents participation, make efforts to assist in obtaining available resources such as State of Illinois lending programs and the prime’s lending, capital and bonding networks.

☐ Make efforts to assist interested BEP/VSB certified vendors in obtaining necessary equipment, supplies, materials, and related assistance or services.

☐ Follow best practices when conducting a Good Faith Effort. Best practices can be found on the BEP website at

Last Updated: March 3, 2022 

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