In May 1988, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued General Order 156 (GO 156). Under GO 156, all investor-owned electric, gas, water and telecommunication utility companies with gross annual revenues in excess of $25 million and their regulated subsidiaries and affiliates, are to develop and implement programs to increase the utilization of woman and minority owned businesses. Voluntary procurement goals of 5% for women and 15% for minorities were initially established, and later expanded to include a goal of 1.5% for service-disabled veterans.

Certification of eligible suppliers was designed to encourage, recruit, and utilize woman and minority owned businesses by participating utilities.

The Clearinghouse is a Commission-supervised entity whose primary purpose is to audit and verify the status of woman and minority owned businesses, and to establish and maintain a database of woman, minority, and service disabled veteran owned businesses that is accessible to the CPUC and to participating utilities. The Clearinghouse audit and verification program precludes the need for individual utilities to audit and verify woman and minority owned businesses with whom they do business.

Fast Track Verification

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Standard Verification

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Comparable Verification

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Standard Verification is intended for new first-time applicants who have never been certified by the Clearinghouse and do not have an existing certification by the United States Small Business Administration’s 8(a) or SDB program, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), or the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) all of which are recognized by the Clearinghouse as a Comparable Agency Verification. This Verification Process is at no cost to applicants, and is valid for three years if obtained directly from the Clearinghouse.

Re-Verification Application Package Process, for applicants who are renewing their existing Clearinghouse certification prior to its expiration. This Verification Process is at no cost to applicants, and is valid for three years if obtained directly from the Clearinghouse.

Comparable Verification a firm that has an active certification by either the NMSDC or WBENC may obtain certification from the Clearinghouse using a abbreviated process which relies upon much of the information already verified by the certifying organization. This Verification Process is at no cost to applicants, and is valid through the comparable agency’s certification expiration date.

Fast Track Process is available exclusive to micro-businesses whose average annual gross income is $3,500,000 or less over the previous three (3) years, or, is a manufacturing company with 25 employees or less, and is a woman/minority owned California-based firm. This Verification Process is at no cost to applicants, and is valid for three years if obtained directly from the Clearinghouse.