Creating More Opportunities for Small Businesses to "Do Business" with the City
MGT of America, Inc. (MGT), was retained to conduct a business utilization causation study for the City of Columbia to determine whether there was a compelling interest to justify a minority and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) program for the City. The study consisted of fact-finding to determine whether existing City efforts had eliminated active and passive discrimination; to analyze city procurement trends and practices for a three-year interval; and to evaluate various options for future program development.The purpose of this study was to determine if there were disparities in procurement related to race, ethnicity, or gender of businesses utilized by the City - and if any disparities were found, to present evidence of various factors that might account for them.
MGT found that M/WBEs continued to be substantially underutilized in the majority of the procurement categories. MGT presented substantial evidence of barriers to the utilization of M/WBEs in the Columbia private sector marketplace.
The Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) was developed as a result of the disparity study!.
Some of the recommendations to the City Of Columbia are listed below:
* Put in place a Centralized Bidder Registration System (CBR)
* Bonding and Insurance Assistance Programs for Contractors
* Modification to the Mentor Protégé Program Guidelines
* Goals should be adjusted according to the Utilization of M/WBE
* Modification to the Subcontracting Outreach Program
* Establish a Small Local Business Enterprise Program
* Unified Certification Application
City of Columbia Disparity Study