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State of Pennsylvania achieves highest-yet rate of small diverse procurement

PA News - Published Feb 21, 2020

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has recently announced several successes in increasing rate the of utilization of small diverse businesses in public procurement. The announcement is part of the release of the annual report on spending from the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Businesses Opportunities (BDISBO) within the Department of General Services for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Small diverse businesses were awarded almost $800 million in commonwealth contracts during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the report found, representing (in an all-time high) roughly 11 percent of all spending for the commonwealth. The spending represents an increase of almost half as compared to the prior fiscal year. Additionally, 557 small diverse businesses were awarded contracts during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, as compared to 488 in the prior fiscal year.

"The progress we've seen definitely brings us closer to our goal to do 26 percent of our business with small diverse businesses," said State Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper in a press release. "A priority for us moving forward will be to implement programs to aid us in expanding the number of registered small and diverse businesses we have available to take advantage of the contracting opportunities we're creating and the way we track our spending with them."

The state attributes the growth to use of a best value contracting process, an agency-level program to ensure usage of small diverse businesses, and the activities of the Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Businesses Opportunities. Upcoming efforts to grow the small diverse business utilization rate even further include a recruitment campaign for certification, a better, more modernized data collection system, and a method of increasing small diverse participation in RFPs, IFBs, and RFQs.

Read more at https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DGS_details.aspx?newsid=141.