WSSC’s FY 2017 OSDI Programs’ Performance Results Report (revised 11/2017) 33 VIEWS FROM THE C-SUITE: CONT. areas, so they are not counted twice in WSSC numbers, as may happen in other Federal Government programs. “What we have today is a great program. Because of Towanda’s leadership and her team’s efforts, we are not just achieving percentages pegged to an aspirational goal, we are looking to build capacity of SLBEs and MBEs so that they can become strategic partners with WSSC. In the last five, or even ten years, we had not been meeting the goals that were established in each contracting area,” acknowledges Street. Following the new aspirational contract payment goals approved in FY 2017, WSSC established target percentages of spending for each of its four contracting areas. “FY 2017 was an exceptionally good year. Architecture and engineering payments accounted for 30% of payments to Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) firms, six percentage points above the goal; construction achieved 23%, ten percentage points more than expected; goods and services was 30%, and professional services achieved 38% for payments made to MWBE firms, fifteen points above the goal,” shares Street. In Street’s view, the success of the OSDI this year can be accredited to the entire WSSC staff’s understanding of the OSDI mission, and to the leadership support of Towanda R. Livingston and her team from the top down—from Carla Reid, to Joe Mantua, Monica Johnson, to David Malone, and to the rest of the Department Directors at WSSC—they all have played an important role in the progress achieved. Strategically embedding SLBEs and MBEs in the early planning stages of WSSC’s contracting process is one of the important steps that has supported the OSDI’s efforts, according to Street. “The OSDI’s staff is committed and engaged with their partnering departments to raise levels of awareness internally, constantly reminding staff what the MBE and SLBE objectives are,” says Street. Another key step is, “the use of our web-based compliance system, which requires the validation of contract payments, from both prime and sub- contractors, allowing us to closely monitor payments.” Looking ahead, Street notes that there is still work to be done. “We are trying to expand our local orientation. It is a challenge to show businesses that they can benefit and be better prepared by using our support,” states Street. “The other challenge, I think, is measuring our success and avoid under-utilization of the contracts. It’s really important that we continue, internally, to have that open communication between the contract issuing departments, procurement, and the OSDI to make sure we are all aligned.” “The OSDI’s staff is committed and engaged with their partnering departments to raise levels of awareness internally, constantly reminding staff what the MBE and SLBE objectives are.” THOMAS STREET, WSSC’S DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER FOR ADMINISTRATION