Compliance FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for External End-Users of WSSC's Web-Based Compliance System

If you have a question or comment about WSSC’s Web-Based Compliance System, compliance issues, or the training program, please contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at: WSSCWebCompliance@wsscwater.com.

Section 1:  WSSC's Supplier Portal System

How can a Prime determine if a company and/or firm is a registered certified-MBE, WBE, DBE and/or a WSSC-Approved SLBE?

In order to find out if a company and/or firm is a registered certified-MBE or WSSC-Approved SLBE; a Prime should check the Portal.

What MBE certifications does the Commission accept?

Currently, the Commission’s MBE Program recognizes the certification from the following five (5) agencies:

  • Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Prince George’s County Government Supplier Development & Diversity Division (SDDD)
  • Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CR/MSDC)
  • District of Columbia’s Local Small Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DC-LSDBD) Please note that the WSSC only recognizes the "Disadvantaged" (DBE) classification of the District's program.
  • Women Presidents’ Education Organization (WPEO)

We suggest that if there is any doubt regarding the status of a firm’s MBE certification or WSSC-Approved SLBE registration, please contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at 301-206-8800 or e-mail at SupplierDiversity@wsscwater.com.

How can a firm and/or company determine if there is an MBE or SLBE requirement on a Solicitation?

To determine an MBE or SLBE requirement on a Solicitation, you may visit the Portal’s website. 

  1. Go to the “View Bid Opportunities” Tab. 
  2. Go to the “Solicitation Number” column. 
  3. Click on the Solicitation Number which is highlighted in Blue. 
  4. Look at the “Type” heading, which will indicate if there are any MBE and/or SLBE requirements. 

If you have any additional questions or require more information, contact the Procurement Office on 301-206-8866.

Section 2: WSSC’S Web-Based Compliance System

What is PRISM™ Portal or PRISM™ Compliance Management?

PRISM™ is a commercial-off-the-shelf solution for monitoring and tracking subcontract payments.  PRISM™ is the commercial product name.  WSSC refers to PRISM™ through a name consistent with language in WSSC-funded Contracts, which is “Web-Based Compliance System or Tool.”  PRISM™ is therefore referenced in WSSC materials as the WSSC Web-Based Compliance System.

Where can I get more information on the Web-Based Compliance System and how to use it?

The tutorials can be found at http://prismcompliance.kayako.com. These tutorials will demonstrate everything you need to know in order to accomplish your reporting requirements.

When should a company request a Web-Based Compliance System User-ID and Password?

Once a vendor is awarded a Contract, both Primes and Subcontractors can contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at 301-206-8800 or send an email to WSSCWebCompliance@wsscwater.com to request a Web-Based Compliance System Password. 

Primes should contact their Subcontractors once the Contract has been awarded, advising them to contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at 301-206-8800 or send an email to WSSCWebCompliance@wsscwater.com to obtain access.

All Primes and Subcontractors will enter the Web-Based Compliance System by using their unique Tax ID.  You will be required to change your Password the first time you enter the system.

What do I do if I forgot my password?

Use the ‘forgot password’ feature.  Click the link under the password box on the main portal page.  Enter your User ID in the pop-up screen and click on submit.  Your password will be emailed to the email address in the account profile in the Web-Based Compliance System.

I am locked out.  How did this happen?  Now what?

You were locked out because you submitted three consecutive unsuccessful logins to the Web-Based Compliance System.  Please contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion via email at WSSCWebCompliance@wsscwater.com and give us your Tax ID.   Once we reset your account, you will receive confirmation of access via email.

What are the Browser Requirements for Web-Based Compliance System?

Although the Web-Based Compliance System can run using any browser, it is best rendered using the Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher.

Sometimes I do not get the email notifications from the Web-Based Compliance System, why?

Your company or Internet Service Provider may be blocking the Web-Based Compliance System from sending emails.  Please check your spam filter, firewall, and email settings. 

Do I have to attend the training in order to use the Web-Based Compliance System?

Although the Web-Based Compliance System is very intuitive and very user-friendly, it is highly recommended that all vendors attend training in order to use the Web-Based Compliance System. 

Training is offered monthly on-site.  In FY 2013, the Commission began to offer self-paced e-learning tutorials located on the WSSC website or directly through the PRISM™ portal.  Additional training that will be offered in FY 2014 via Web-Based instructor-led training.  You may attend the training as often as you prefer.  Training is free but requires registration to attend on-site or web-based instructor-lead training.

When do we have to start reporting?

All vendors who are actively working with WSSC-funded Contracts as a Prime or Subcontractor must start reporting after the award of their Contract.  The frequency of reporting will remain the same in accordance with WSSC Contract language.

What if I refuse to use WSSC’s Web-Based Compliance System?

Suppliers/Vendors on active WSSC-funded Contracts with subcontracting reporting requirements will be deemed non-compliant per the contract language.

Under WSSC’s former Web-Based Reporting Tool, SymTrac™, a Prime was required to enter their subcontract plans.  Under the new WSSC Web-Based Compliance System, will this requirement remain the same?

No. Vendors will no longer enter their own subcontract plans.  The new Web-Based Compliance System requires that the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion enter a vendor’s approved subcontract plan prior to the release of the NTP (Notice to Proceed).  Note that submission of a subcontract plan to the Procurement Office and validation of subcontractors by the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion will remain the same.

If a company exceeds the MBE and/or SLBE subcontracting requirement, how is it reflected in the Web-Based Compliance System?

If a company exceeds the MBE and/or SLBE subcontracting requirement, it will be reflected in the Web-Based Compliance System, once the subcontract plan is received by the Procurement Office, and has been approved and entered into the system by the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion that the subcontract requirement was exceeded at the end of the Contract.

Does the Web-Based Compliance System capture both the Prime’s and Subcontractor’s start date?

The Web-Based Compliance System captures the date that a WSSC Purchase Order was issued for the Prime and/or Subcontractor’s work based on information provided by the WSSC Disbursements and Accounting system.

If a Prime uses a total of five (5) Subcontractors of which only three (3) are certified MBEs, should all five (5) Subcontractors be entered into Web-Based Compliance System?

Yes.  All subcontracting, whether required or not (including Majority, MBE, and SLBE), must be entered into the Web-Based Compliance System. 

Note:  If there are any subcontracting requirements, a subcontract plan has to be submitted to the Procurement Office and the Web-Based Compliance System must be used as a reporting tool.  The Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion is responsible for entering all approved subcontract plans into the Web-Based Compliance System.

If a Prime pays less than the Subcontractor’s invoiced amount but reports full payment, does the Subcontractor have the ability in the Web-Based Compliance System to validate receipt of partial payment?

The Web-Based Compliance System will allow the Prime to submit payment information to the Subcontractor for less than the invoiced amount, but will not allow for a check amount to be greater than the amount invoiced. 

Subcontractors may acknowledge/validate partial payments from a Prime.  

As a Subcontractor, you have an option.  If as the Subcontractor you were expecting to receive payment for the invoice amount and did not receive full payment, then the Subcontractor does not have to report the partial payment in the Notes/Comments section.  The Subcontractor/Subconsultant may save a scanned copy of the check as a referenced attachment.

How does a Prime identify a supplier when entering an invoice and payment in the Web-Based Compliance System?

Suppliers can be located either by their Tax ID Number, name or a Vendor ID.  

What should be done if a Subcontractor enters the wrong amount in the “Invoice Amount” field?

The Subcontractor may correct the error; however, once payment from a Prime is acknowledged/accepted, the Subcontractor may not be able to provide further updates.

The Web-Based Compliance System covered a series of steps.  Do these steps take place before or after the award of a Contract?

The steps take place after Contract award.

Can the Web-Based Compliance System be used to generate a list of certified MBEs and/or WSSC-Approved SLBEs that can be used as Subcontractors?

Yes.  Vendors may generate a list, although there is no guarantee of “certification” of MBEs (certified and non-certified) and WSSC-Approved SLBEs.  To access this information, vendors should log-in to the Web-Based Compliance System.  

From the PRISM™ Portal home page proceeds with the following steps:

  • Click on “Vendor Management
  • The screen will read “Company Search”
  • Click on “Filtered Search” or “Advanced Search”
  • Enter the appropriate Industry name or specific filters needed or required to search for a vendor,  industry, or certification(s)
  • Click on “SEARCH”

Is the Web-Based Compliance System only a monitoring and tracking system?

Yes.  The Web-Based Compliance System is web-enabled to monitor, track and report all mandated and/or voluntary subcontracting compliance requirements of both the Prime and Subcontractor.  It tracks all subcontract participation requirements, allows payments to be documented by the Prime and Subcontractors and enables the validation of payments by Subcontractors. 

What happens when a subcontracting requirement in the Web-Based Compliance System does not match the subcontracting plan?

If the subcontracting plan does not match the goal that was submitted with your subcontracting plan, the plan will be rejected.  If the subcontracting requirement found in Web-Based Compliance System™ is different from the Contract requirement, please contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion to confirm that the requirement is correct.

Is the Web-Based Compliance System the only means that Subcontractors have for submitting invoices?

Yes.  The Web-Based Compliance System is a tracking tool.  Subcontractors must submit their invoices to the Prime for payment and their subsequent validation that payment must be reported in the Web-Based Compliance System that payment was received. 

Can a Subcontractor use the Web-Based Compliance System to find out if a Prime has invoiced WSSC?

No.  A Subcontractor will not be able to use the Web-Based Compliance System to view if the Prime has invoiced WSSC.  A Subcontractor may contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at 301-206-8800 to inquire about payment status

Can a Subcontractor use the Web-Based Compliance System to find out if a Prime has been paid by WSSC on the Contract?

No.  A Subcontractor will not receive a payment acknowledgment, only the Prime will receive this information from WSSC.  

If the Subcontractor only receives payment for $2,500.00 on a balance of $3,000.00, should a Subcontractor submit another invoice to the Prime through the Web-Based Compliance System for the remaining balance? 

If there is a balance on an invoice found in the Web-Based Compliance System, there is no need to submit a new invoice.

Does the SLMBE Office have any plans to upgrade the Web-Based Compliance System?

Yes.  As system enhancements become available from the supplier, WSSC will upgrade the system.  Otherwise, if you have any suggestions and/or comments that would improve the Web-Based Compliance System, please let us know by submitting them in writing or via e-mail at WSSCWebCompliance@wsscwater.com.

When a Prime accesses their Contract information in the Web-Based Compliance System, will the Web-Based Compliance System have some initial information regarding my Contract?

Yes.  However, the amount of information available will be minimal.  Once the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion has entered an approved subcontract plan into the Web-Based Compliance System, the Prime will have access to more information.

What is the turn-around time to approve or reject subcontracting plans submitted by Primes after the subcontracting plan is submitted to the Procurement Office?

Subcontracting plans are entered into the Web-Based Compliance System within   5–10 business days after approval by the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion.  If there are issues with the information and there is a need for further review, the turn-around time may be longer.

Does the Subcontractor have the responsibility to validate payments in the Web-Based Compliance System?

Yes.  It is the responsibility of the Subcontractor to validate payments in the Web-Based Compliance System.

If a Contract is canceled who is responsible for removing it from the Web-Based Compliance System?

The Procurement Office is responsible for the cancellations through the Materials, Accounts Payable and Purchasing System (MAPS).  This system does not allow a Contract to be canceled if it has payments.

Can any information be removed from Web-Based Compliance System?

No.  Information cannot be removed from the Web-Based Compliance System.

If there is no Contract/Purchase Order Number to access the Contract information in the Web-Based Compliance System how can a Contract be accessed?

Note:  Purchase Order Number = Contract Number in the Web-Based Compliance System.  If you have the Contract/Purchase Order Number, try searching the information by entering the Contract Number in the “Contract Number” field.  Otherwise, contact the Procurement Office and they will be able to provide the Contract Number and/or the Purchase Order Number. 

Section 3: Payments And Invoices

How long does it take for WSSC to pay the Prime?

On average, it takes 30 days for WSSC to pay the Prime.

Can a Subcontractor submit invoices to a Prime for work completed on a Contract that has not yet invoiced WSSC? 

Yes.  A Subcontractor may submit invoices to the Prime at the time that the services were rendered.  Timely submission of invoices for completed work is encouraged.

Can a Prime be paid by the WSSC through electronic payments?

Yes.  Suppliers/Vendors interested in electronic payments should contact WSSC's Disbursements Group at 301-206-7076.

Section 4: Contracts

There are multiple Contracts listed under our company’s information in the Web-Based Compliance System, who is responsible for assigning the names of the Contract? 

The Procurement Office is responsible for assigning the name of the Contracts.

Section 5: Subcontracting

What if a Prime does not approve the Subcontractor’s work?  

Contact the Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion,  and the Procurement Office immediately.

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