HARRISBURG, Pa., May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of General Services Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities Kerry L. Kirkland today announced that BBC Research & Consulting (Browne, Bortz & Coddington) of Denver, CO has been awarded the contract to conduct Pennsylvania's first-ever comprehensive disparity study on small diverse businesses in state government contracting.
"This is groundbreaking territory for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Kirkland said. "Under the leadership of Governor Tom Wolf, we are strengthening our ability to assist small and small diverse businesses in overcoming the challenges they face in being successful – not only in state contracting, but the overall economy. Now we can look forward to the completion of the disparity study and use it to further our efforts to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the barriers facing our small diverse businesses as it pertains to the state contracting process."
Small diverse businesses are those businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, disabled veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community.
BBC Research & Consulting will be charged with delivering a comprehensive and legally supportable statewide disparity study that will serve as an empirical basis for determining the extent to which small diverse businesses face discrimination in the state contracting process. The commonwealth will then determine what race, gender, disabled, LGBT, and/or veteran -conscious measures should be used to remedy the issues raised in the study.
"We need to do a better job when it comes to delivering policies and programs that will enable our small diverse businesses to get a fair shot at doing business with the commonwealth," Kirkland said. "We know there are factors that prevent our small diverse businesses from being able to compete, and this study will provide us with hard data to allow us to get to the root of the problems and move forward in the right direction.
"Pennsylvania is leading by example when it comes to creating an environment where diversity, inclusion and fairness thrive. Even with the contract for this study, we ensured that small and small diverse businesses will play a significant role in its completion."
The two-year contract is worth $899,789.00 for its initial term. There are three additional one-year renewals. In addition, 28 percent, or $251,940.00, is committed to contracting with six small or small diverse businesses. The final study is to be completed within 15 months of project initiation.
BBC Research & Consulting has performed 22 studies over the past five years and have another eight currently under way. Their most recent disparity studies were performed for the Indiana Department of Administration and the California Department of Transportation in 2016.
Kirkland noted that the disparity study was one of many recommendations put forth by the Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities.
In addition to the study, the council recommendations included:
- Working to achieve a 10% SDB participation rate in FY 2017, a 20% SDB participation rate in FY 2018 and a 30% participation rate by SDBs in FY 2019 and beyond.
- Expanding the BDISBO program to promote SB and SDB participation in all contracts, regardless of the procurement method used to initiate the contract.
- Establishing an annual goal for each Executive Agency to increase the number of prime contracts awarded to SB and SDB prime contractors each year.
- Developing a more robust system to monitor and report on expenditure data electronically so that program performance and outcomes can be evaluated.
- Establishing a formal mentor/protégé program as called for in Executive Order, 2015-11 by September 30, 2017.
The Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities, or BDISBO, implements programs to increase contracting opportunities for DGS self-certified small business and third-party verified small diverse businesses; provides training, technical assistance and support for small and small diverse business owners to compete for prime and sub-contracting opportunities; and is also responsible for ensuring contractual commitments are maintained through contract compliance activities.
For information or assistance on BDISBO programs or becoming a DGS self-certified small business or a verified small diverse business visit the bureau's website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Troy Thompson, DGS, 717-787-3197
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of General Services