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SLMBELegislativeReport9BuildingandSustainingDiversityTheSLMBEProgramembodiesWSSCscommitmenttothehigheststandardsofdiversityandexcellenceinprocurementacrossalloftheCommissionsstrategicpriorities.TheProgramstwoarmstheMinorityBusinessEnterpriseProgramandtheSmallLocalBusinessEnterpriseProgramaredesignedtomitigatetheeffectsofdiscriminationinourmarketarea.ItistheCommissionsgoaltoensurethatoursuppliersreflectthecommunityweserveandthatsmallandlocalsuppliershaveanopportunitytocompeteandwincontractswithWSSC.Guidedbyourcommitmenttoexcellenceanddiver-sitytheCommissioncollaboratescloselywithinternalandexternalstakeholders.WeactivelyseekouthighlyskilleddiversecontractorswhosefreshperspectivesandinnovativeideashelpmeettheCommissionsbusi-nesschallenges.TheSLMBEProgramstrengthenstheCommissionspartnershipwiththesebusinessesthroughdedicatedresourcesfairpoliciesandproce-duresandastrongportfolioofprogramsandservices.Theseincludesupplieradvocacycomplianceoutreachandsupplierdevelopment.Inlinewiththisworkwesetandstrivetomeetannualgoalsforexpenditurescertificationofminorityandwomenbusinessesandapprovalofsmallandlocalbusinesses.AccountabletothePeopleWeServeEachyearwesubmitthisreporttothestatedelega-tionsofthetwocountiesweservePrinceGeorgesandMontgomeryasrequiredbythePublicUtilitiesArticleoftheAnnotatedCodeofMaryland.TheCoderequiresWSSCtoreportontheimplementationandadministra-tionofourminoritybusinessenterpriseprogramsandtomakerecommendationsconcerningtheseprograms.Butourresponsibilitydoesnotendthere.WermlybelievetheCommissionmustbeaccountablenotonlytotheGeneralAssemblybuttoourbusinesspartnersourinternalcolleaguesandthepeoplewhodependonus.Thesestakeholdersarenotonlythebeneciariesofoureffortstheyarethekeystooursuccess.TohelpusunderstandhowwellweareservingthemtheCommissionpublishedadisparitystudyin2010thatcloselyexaminedouruseofminority-andwomen-ownedrmsascontractorsandsubcontractors.Wehavebeguntoinstitutemanyoftherecommendationsfromthatreportandweexpecttocompleteanotherdisparitystudyin2015examiningtheprogresswehavemade.Inthemeantimeweinviteallinterestedpartiestoexaminethislegislativereportandworkwithustohelpusfulllourcommitmenttodiversityinallouroperations.HelpUsProtecttheEnvironmentWSSCworkstoreduceitscarbonfootprintbypublishingthisreportonitswebsiteandbyelectronictransmission.Alimitednumberofprintedcopieswillbemadeavailableuponrequestbutweencourageyoutoviewthereportonlineatwww.wsscwater.com.SLMBEMissionTheSLMBEOfceisdedicatedtocreatinganinclusivepurchasingenvi-ronmentwhilebuildingsustainablerelationshipsexpandingopportuni-tiesandcultivatingthegrowthofsmalllocalandminoritybusinesseswhichaddvaluetotheCommissionandtothecommunityweserve.