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Pennsylvania Governor raises goals for diverse business participation

PA News - Published Jun 23, 2020

In 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order on "Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania's Economy". The order created the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) within the state's Department of General Services, as well as the Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities, in addition to leading to a 2018 disparity study. In furtherance of the aims set out by the 2015 order, Governor Wolf is now announcing three new changes to state procurement.

Firstly, each competitive state procurement will include goal setting calculated to achieve a general statewide contract spending participation total of 26.3 percent with Small Diverse Businesses (SDBs). The goal setting replaces a previous scoring process, already applies to construction solicitations over $300,000, and, on August 17th, 2020, will apply to goods and services solicitations over $250,000.

Secondly, the Department of General Services (DGS) is setting a goal of 4.6 percent of state contract spending going to veteran-owned businesses (VBEs) through the new VBE program. In order to help in meeting this goal, the commonwealth will now consider a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprises as both an SDB firm and a VBE firm. Businesses holding third-party certification from the Veterans Affairs Vets First Verification Program will thus not need to go through an additional SDB certification process.

Thirdly, the Governor's office is tasking all state agencies under their jurisdiction with having at least 15 percent of their contract spending go to eligible, state-certified small businesses through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, which aids small businesses in competing as prime contractors on government procurement.

"Our economy and our communities work best when everyone has a fair chance of success," Governor Wolf said in a statement.

For more information about the the changes, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-launches-new-policies-to-increase-diversity-among-state-contractors/.