Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Kicks Off Disparity Study

Mason Tillman Associates Chosen to Evaluate Commission,Women, Minority Business Practices

| News Release



Laurel, Maryland – May 26, 2010: The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) General Manager Jerry N. Johnson today announced that Mason Tillman Associates, Ltd. (Mason Tillman), of Oakland, CA, has been selected to conduct a new fact-finding Disparity Study. The Study will evaluate WSSC’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) practices, evaluate the business market in this region and determine if a statistical disparity exists in awarding by WSSC of contracts to women-owned and minority firms and the availability of such firms in the market. The results will provide the Commission with a factual predicate for any future MBE program.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Mason Tillman,” said WSSC General Manager/CEO Jerry N. Johnson. “We are confident that Mason Tillman Associates will provide the Commission with exemplary services based on their years of experience in understanding complex MBE contract practices and programs and their successes in conducting comprehensive disparity studies.”

WSSC will provide Mason Tillman with extensive records on its contracting with minority and woman-owned prime contractors and subcontractors for fiscal years 2004-2009, including bids, awards, invoices, and, payments. The Study looks at a broad range of industries to determine whether MBE firms were available to bid, and determine their success if they did submit a bid or proposal. Mason Tillman will also conduct interviews with local business owners and representatives from trade and professional associations.

Established in 1978, Mason Tillman has conducted more than 100 Disparity Studies nationwide for states, counties, school systems, districts and cities. “We know how important these issues are in all communities,” says Mason Tillman President and Project Manager Eleanor Mason Ramsey, Ph.D. “This is a socially responsible endeavor on the part of WSSC. And over the years we have developed programs and strategies to help jurisdictions accomplish their affirmative action contracting goals with greater accuracy and reliability. We will do the same for The Commission. ” Mason Tillman has finished all 108 of its previous disparity studies on time and its work has never been challenged.

“The SLMBE Office is dedicated to fostering a business environment that is inclusive in purchasing practices and expands contract opportunities and cultivates the growth of small, local and minority businesses. This adds value to the Commission and our community,” states Towanda Livingston, Director of WSSC’s SLMBE Office. “The Disparity Study is key to our commitment. It engages the Commission’s key stakeholders. And it communicates our effort to further develop the SLMBE Program that is both effective and legally sufficient.”

Mason Tillman is scheduled to report its findings to WSSC at the end of November 2010.

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.


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