New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer issued his yearly "Making the Grade: New York City Agency Report Card on M/WBEs" report, and awarded the City a grade of "C" for its utilization of minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) during the 2019 fiscal year.
The annual Making the Grade report assigns letter grades to all 32 City agencies as well as an overall letter grade for the City as a whole based on how well they are meeting their goals in MWBE utilization in procurement. For the past four consecutive years, the City as a whole has received a grade of "D+". The "C" grade for fiscal year 2019 represents the first time Stringer has awarded the City a grade that could be considred "passing". Also for the first time, no City agencies received an "F" grade in fiscal year 2019.
"Accountability leads to improvement – and while today's report indicates modest progress by the City, we cannot rest on our laurels until all City agencies make the grade," said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. "We know that there is more work to be done to dismantle the systemic barriers M/WBEs face when navigating City procurement and contracting. We must do more to ensure that the M/WBE community has the tools, resources, and capacity to compete and thrive in our economy."
The report credits the improvement to a variety of factors, including the implementation of the M/WBE Small Purchase Method, which represented some $42.4 million in contracting dollars awarded to MWBEs (the City's total spending with MWBEs for the fiscal year was $911.9 million, making for an increase of $180.8 million over fiscal year 2018), and in dilligence in setting contract goals (92 percent of contracts which were eligible to have goals attached to them had such goals attached).
Areas identified for improvement in the Making the Grade report were informed this year by a survey of around 550 currently certified MWBEs and include improving the criteria for how vendors are selected when bidding on City procurement, improving responsiveness of City procurement officials when MWBEs are attempting to contact them, making the process of locating and bidding on contract opportunities less opaque and time-consuming, and taking steps to ensure that MWBEs are paid promptly when they submit invoices.
Read the 2019 Making the Grade report may be read at https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/making-the-grade/reports/making-the-grade-2019/