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City of Indianapolis finds disparities in M/W/V/DOBE utilization


IN News - Published Jan 27, 2020

The City of Indianapolis has released the results of a study of its Minority-, Women-, Veteran-, and Disabled-owned Business Enterprise (M/W/V/DOBE) Program, the first such review since 1995. The disparity study indicates a finding of substantial disparity in utilization of M/W/V/DOBEs in city contracting, and makes recommendations relating to program implementation in areas related to information gathering and goal setting in order to remedy the under-utilization.

The study examined the calendar years of 2014 through 2018. The total dollar amount of city contracts let during that five-year period was $876 million, of which $128.1 million (or 14.6 percent) was spent with minority- and woman-owned businesses, when (based on availability as measured by the study through various means of research) there was an availability of 19.3 percent for such firms, meaning $169 could have been expected to have been spent with such firms during the period. The disparity index resulting from this finding was 0.76, where a finding of 1 would have meant no disparity, and a finding below 0.8 would indicated substantial disparity. 

Among the recommendations made by the study in program implementation were: adjusting the participation goals based on the actual availability, documenting how such goals are set, increasing staff for the program, looking at ways to assist businesses with access to bonding and capital, maintaining better data collection, setting contract-specific goals, prohibiting teaming requirements in certain circumstances, unbundling large contracts, and ensuring prompt payment.

The City's M/W/V/DOBE Program is accepting public comment on the disparity study results through February 29th. For more information about providing feedback, visit https://www.indy.gov/agency/office-of-minority-and-women-business-development.

Read the full disparity study at https://www.indy.gov/activity/2019-city-of-indianapolis-disparity-study.