RS 51:946     

§946.  Mentor-protégé program; legislative findings; purposes; implementation

A.  It is the finding of the Legislature of Louisiana that the overall economic health of the state would be improved by enabling the growth or formation of more viable small businesses.  The legislature also finds that one way to facilitate the growth and formation of small businesses is to establish a mentor-protégé program to enable economically disadvantaged businesses to break down barriers and build economic self-sufficiency and capacity.  The legislature finds that the establishment of a mentor-protégé program would  benefit the state as the program would facilitate the creation of mutually beneficial relationships to assist in the transfer of managerial and technical skills and in the provision of one-on-one technical assistance from companies which are self-sufficient and thriving to companies which are attempting to succeed economically.  The legislature further finds that an important element in facilitating companies to become economically viable includes development of the capacity to compete for public and private sector contracting and purchasing opportunities.

B.  There is hereby established within the division the mentor-protégé program which shall be administered by the division.  The division shall provide for implementation of the program through the adoption and promulgation of rules and regulations which, at a minimum, provide for the following:

(1)  Terms, conditions, and criteria for participation, which at a minimum shall include eligibility as economically disadvantaged businesses and persons.

(2)  Development of a departmental marketing plan identifying  business sectors to target for mentor-protégé activities and identifying potential firms to participate.

(3)  Establishment of a database of protégé companies throughout the state to identify companies based on the type of enterprise in which they are involved.

(4)  Guidelines for participation by mentor firms, including the following:

(a)  Demonstrated capacity in managerial or technical skills.

(b)  Participation requirements, including the time frame of the mentor-protégé relationship, specific business processes, procedures, or skills which will be transferred, and other evidence that a bona fide mentor-protégé business relationship exists.

(5)  Guidelines for participation by the protégé firms, including:

(a)  Eligibility criteria, including a net worth threshold and other business capacity measures.

(b)  Eligibility for governmental contracting.

(6)  Development and approval of a mentor-protégé plan between qualified firms detailing the following:

(a)  The duties and responsibilities to be performed by each party in the joint, reciprocal relationship, including the transfer of managerial and technical skills and the development of competence, competitive position, and shared opportunity.

(b)  Prohibition of mentor-protégé participation in the source selection process pursuant to R.S. 51:947 within one hundred and twenty days after a mentor-protégé plan between two companies has been approved.

(c)  Provisions for termination, including provisions relative to competition between the mentor and protégé firms once the relationship is ended.

(7)  Measures of performance to evaluate each individual mentor-protégé plan approved by the division including measures of the change in protégé firm's business capacity and capability, numbers and dollar value of contracts under the plan, and progress toward graduation from protégé status.

(8)  Provisions for nonperformance by either the mentor firm or the protégé firm.

(9)  Provisions for conflict resolution between the two parties in the relationship.

(10)  Implementation of internal departmental controls over the program and the participants.

Acts 2006, No. 434, §1.