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Source : Contractor News
July 29, 2021
Author : Kristy Casanova
The City of Seattle has decided to conduct a disparity study to determine current lack of diversity in the city's contracting and procurement processes.
Mayor Jenny Durkan stated that her focus of this disparity study is to take responsibility and create equitable opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE). In addition to the disparity study, the city has created an M/WBE Advisory Committee, which is also ensuring equity in public contracts. The disparity study will focus on the city’s current and past contracting practices, including the solicitation process and engagement with businesses.
A national legal and consulting firm, Colette Holt and Associates, will be leading the disparity study. The firm focuses on issues related to Minority-owned, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses. Colette Holt and Associates will be hosting public meetings to openly discuss the disparities in hopes to gain input from M/WBEs. This will help them to learn about the current and past disparities and down the line help in improving, creating and implementing inclusive contracting practices.
In order for the City of Seattle to fully dive into revamping their purchasing and contracting practices, Mayor Durkan has appointed 12 members to the M/WBE Advisory Committee. The advisory committee includes vendors, consultants, contractors and community organization members.
The City of Seattle, Mayor Durkan and the W/MBE Advisory committee will continue to focus on creating annual work plans and ensure fair contracting and purchasing. The goal is to increase its spending and purchasing with M/WBE firms and to continue to evaluate diversity within contracting.