HARRISBURG, Pa., June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper today announced the availability of the 2014-15 Report on the Participation of Small Businesses (SBs) and Small Diverse Businesses (SDBs) in State Contracting Opportunities. The report covers the years from 2010 through 2014 under the previous two administrations, and also reports on veteran and service-disabled veteran businesses.
"The report gives us a very sobering look at the commonwealth's true performance when it comes to contracting with small and small diverse businesses in Pennsylvania," Topper said. "In previous years, the reporting was done in a way that may have left readers with the impression that commonwealth contracting was more diverse and inclusive than it truly was. We had a responsibility to correct any misconceptions and develop a plan to get us back on track."
Topper noted one of the biggest challenges to compiling this year's report was ensuring that the appropriate expenditure numbers were used to calculate the percentage of business being conducted with small and small diverse businesses.
"We changed our approach to focus on actual dollars paid out to our small and small diverse businesses, rather than focusing solely on committed dollars that may or may not have been actually realized by those businesses," Topper said. "As a result, we are now reporting numbers based on a more comprehensive, transparent and empirically valid approach that will be our standard for future reporting."
Based on the new approach, the department reported that between 2010 and 2014, the overall SB portion of Commonwealth payments fell from 9.34% to 8.08% and, during the same period, the SDB portion fell from 6.47% to 5.76%.
These recommendations from the report will be implemented by DGS immediately:
- Clarifying and improving procedures associated with SDB participation and proposal scoring in Commonwealth RFP processes. Current requirements are cumbersome and difficult, inhibiting participation from SDBs.
- Strengthening the enforcement of prime contractor commitments through new standard terms and conditions and new subcontract language.
- Collaborating with the departments of Community and Economic Development, Labor & Industry and Transportation to develop targeted business assistance and professional development programs for SBs and SDBs.
In 2015, Governor Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2015-11– Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania's Economy, and that has already begun to make the state's contracting more diverse and inclusive, including new categories for LGBT and disabled business owners.
"We have already convened the Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities to recommend policy and program changes," Topper noted. "The report includes these recommendations, and more, to ensure that we are heading in the right direction to achieve our goal of increased greater diversity and inclusion in commonwealth contracting."
The 2014-15 Annual Report on the Participation of Small Businesses (SBs) and Small Diverse Businesses (SDBs) in State Contracting Opportunities is available for review and download online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Troy Thompson, 717-787-3197
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of General Services