Frequently Asked Questions
Revision Date: 08/2021
What is the procurement preference program?
The Procurement Preference Program is administered by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) a nd certifies qualified Alaskan individuals, employers, and businesses on disability related preferences in the State of Alaska's competitive solicitations and procurement processes. When responding to a State of Alaska request for bids, the program allows an Employment Program Preference of 15% or Alaskans with Disabilities Preference of 10%.
How do I qualify?
Read through the Procurement Preference Guidelines to determine which category you qualify for. There are two types of certifications: Employment Program Preference and Alaskans with Disabilities Preference. Complete the application form and submit to DVR with the required documentation.
How long does it take to become certified?
You will usually receive a letter within 2 weeks. Your application will be reviewed to ensure the qualifications for certification are met. To expedite the process, you may email or fax the documents to DVR Central Office at 907-465-2856, Attn: Procurement Preference. Be sure to mail the original, signed application to: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Procurement Preference Program, PO Box 115516, Juneau, AK 99811. It may take longer if required information is missing.
How much does it cost to become certified?
There is no fee for applying; however, you must hold a valid Alaska business license and there is a fee for that. Also, your physician may require a fee to request medical records.
How will the Procurement Officer know that I am certified?
You are required to attach a copy of your procurement preference certification letter to your bid that you are submitting. DVR maintains a list of certifications that can be found on our website: labor.state.ak.us/dvr/preflist.pdf . You must be on the appropriate list at the time the bid opens.
The Veteran's Administration (VA) or Workers Compensation System certified me as 15% disabled. Do I meet the requirements for a procurement preference?
The definition of disability used by the VA and the Workers Compensation System, and the definition of an "individual with a disability" for this program differ. The Director of Vocational Rehabilitation makes that determination, and you are encouraged to submit an application for that decision to be made. Disqualification for the procurement preference program does not mean you do not have a disability. The definition is quite specific and having a disability alone does not qualify an individual. Your disability must result in employment-related barriers.
You will need to submit documentation from your physician or a DVR counselor that describes your disability and your functional limitations for review.
I have a hearing impairment and I wear hearing aids. Do I qualify?
As in the question above, you must submit an application for us to make that determination.
Our agency provides employment services to persons with disabilities. Would I qualify as an "Employment Program"?
There are very few "employment programs" in Alaska. If you are an organization with a valid Alaskan business license, you are eligible as an Employment Program.
Does my certification expire?
Yes, certifications expire on December 31st of each year, and must be renewed. Once certified, you will be mailed a renewal packet at the end of each year, usually in November, to renew your certification for the following year. You must reapply each year by providing updated information.
How do I find out about available contracts being solicited?
To effectively market to state agencies, you may contact individual state agency procurement officers directly. They can assist you to determine of your products and services fit their needs or for any information on upcoming solicitations.
A list of State of Alaska Procurement Staff contacts can be found at: http://doa.alaska.gov/oppm/cam/staff.html
Another way is to monitor the State of Alaska Online Public Notice system. There you can search or browse for formal solicitations. This system is located at: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/default.aspx
Please note the state only posts formal solicitation (above $100,000) to the Online Public Notice system. To receive information on small procurements ($100,000 and under), you will need to market your products and services to the individual agencies as stated above.
There is also an option for subscribing by RSS or email to all new notices, or just those matching specific search criteria. Look under the "Subscriptions" section located at the bottom of the Online Public Notice website.
Lastly, the state has an electronic procurement system called IRIS. This stands for Integrated Resource Information System. Procurements also occur through IRIS, combined with the postings on the Online Public Notices. You will need to register to receive updates and other information.