By a vote of 4 to 1, Travis County's Commissioners Court has decided to award the University of Texas (UT) a $132,000 contract for assessing certain aspects of the County's current Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program. The work on the contract is set to run from August 1st of 2019 through July 31st of 2020.
By the terms of the contract, a research team at UT will receive the job of not only assessing the race- and gender-neutral initiatives currently administered under the HUB program on the basis of their efficacy, but will also develop recommendations on new initiatives that the County could fold into its HUB program. The team, in making these recommendations, will study similar programs in other jurisdictions and municipalities, look for operating issues in the current program, and also look more generally at the state of opportunity in the county for entrepeneurial startups (including but not limited to HUBs).
The award of the contract comes after the commissioners were briefed in November on the results of a disparity study performed for the County, which found that in the fiscal year preceding the study, the County awarded approximately 12 percent of its procurement dollars to HUBs.