2015 Disparity Study Supports Continuation of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program

WSSC Commended on SLMBE Program, Compliance and Extensive Outreach

| News Release

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LAUREL, June 16, 2016 – Results of the 2015 WSSC Disparity Study were released on Wednesday, June 15 revealing a continued need for a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program in order to support the inclusion of women-owned and minority business enterprises. WSSC’s Small, Local and Minority Business Enterprise (SLMBE) Office in conjunction with the study author MGT of America, Inc. also presented the findings to WSSC’s Commissioners.

“Equipped with  2015 Disparity Study and its findings, WSSC should ask the legislature to enable the continuation of its Minority Business Enterprise Program in its next session,” said Reggie Smith, Vice President of Disparity Research for MGT. “WSSC should also continue its SLBE program which does not require legislative approval.”

Key Findings:

  • A disparity exists for women and all minority groups based on availability versus utilization in the marketplace in the four primary procurement categories: Architecture and Engineering, Construction, Professional Services and Good and Services.
  • There is compelling interest for WSSC to address potential discriminatory contracting practices in its relevant marketplace that adversely impact M/WBE firms.
  • WSSC should narrowly tailor its MBE Program remedial efforts to the specific statistical disparities outlined in the Study.
  • WSSC has made progress and the community has benefited from the current MBE and SLBE programs.

Recommendations:

  • WSSC should consider adopting a two-tier size standard in its MBE and SLBE Programs.
  • WSSC should work to improve prime contractor compliance with entering non-M/WBE subcontractor data in its web-based compliance system.
  • WSSC should update its supplier registration system data, at minimum, every two (2) years.

“This is not the finish line for our SLMBE program efforts…it is the starting line…we have paid certified Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs) $604.3 million from FY2011 through this fiscal-year-to-date,” says Towanda Livingston, SLMBE Director for WSSC. “WSSC seeks to continue to be a viable economic empowerment driver in our local communities.”

The findings are also shared at two public meetings held June 15 and this morning to provide an opportunity for feedback from the business community. Online public comment is now available through July 15 and can be submitted at www.wsscwater.com/disparitystudy. The full report will be available online after June 16, 2016.

This Study provides a five-year evaluation of WSSC’s procurement procedures and Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBE) for the Fiscal Years 2010-2014. To learn more about the disparity study visit www.wsscwater.com/disparitystudy or email mgtdisparity@mgtamer.com.

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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