Black Wall Street USA
Government Contracting Equity Initiative

 

Provide local sources for minority business owners to become educated and certified to do business with their local city, state and federal government. Facilitate opportunities to bid, partner and subcontract with other businesses in our districts for maximum exposure to be awarded long term contracts. Establish a process where awarded businesses have options to invest or fund other initiatives.

The municipalities must clearly define their program and create a clear policy. The state must determine where they want their supplier diversity program to focus: on businesses owned by women, specific racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, veterans, or small or disadvantaged businesses, for example. Then municipalities must create a supplier diversity policy statement that defines these groups so people know what to look for and how to evaluate various municipal agencies. The municipality policy should be part of their standard, non-negotiable operating procedure.

Municipalities must secure commitments from the top down that are key to supplier-diversity success and is unwavering in leadership commitment. Have the agency's head executive personally sign off on supplier-diversity goals and metrics; Audit their own state supplier-diversity numbers; Mandate that supplier-diversity metrics be included in every request for proposal (RFP). Black Wall Street USA believes that in order that municipalities strengthen their commitment to diversity, the elected officials must make sure that the head of the supplier diversity program is at the senior management level or above, and has control over state government purchasing. And we further recommend that this person has gone through the program and a person of color.

Make all ageny executives accountable. Tie the attainment of supplier diversity goals to the compensation and performance plans of state higher-ups and senior management. We want the leaders to set individual goals that differ for each business system or unit based on size and then incentive using performance bonuses against those supplier-diversity targets, which should be reported regularly at least quarterly. We request that the municipality give metrics proper visibility, create a scorecard that places appropriate weighting as it relates to diverse vendors so state decision makers can measure the benefits of selecting them.

Develop and identify opportunities for supplier diversity. We suggest that the government supplier diversity development should be formally integrated into its strategic sourcing process. For example, insert standard language into RFQs/RFIs/RFPs to make it easy to identify the categories of diversity suppliers. Set goals for the supplier selection process so diversity suppliers are included. Proactively develop diversity suppliers for underutilized product, service, and commodity areas. And ensures that the supplier screening process is transparent, fair and consistent?

Municipalities should leverage business networks like Black Wall Street USA to find new diverse suppliers. A common best practice is to create a comprehensive database of Black- owned businesses. But this requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Business networks like ours can help the state with this. For example, matching services such as ours make it much easier for buyers to find and evaluate non whiite suppliers. Even better, these suppliers are already set up to transact with the state through the network. Business networks can also provide a ready-made purchasing system that helps the state track supplier diversity performance and target specific contracts for additional focus, outreach, or consideration.

We strongly suggest that the governmental agencies and corporate America integrate supplier diversity throughout the state system. When supplier diversity is integrated into the strategic-sourcing process, it makes it much more sustainable. US municipalities needs to consider implementing a champion program so they'll have enterprise-wide commodity champions with significant supplier-diversity commitments.

Agency heads can raise awareness, keep their finger on the pulse of opportunities, serve as liaisons with stakeholders, and assist with diverse spend targets. We further recommend that the municipality heads create a supplier diversity 101 program for all employees that will answer basic questions such as, What is the value of supplier diversity? What is the business case? And why is it important?

Black Wall Street USA recommends the establishment of a continuous improvement plan. There is always room for improvement and as the US municipality diversity supplier program grows, they will need to enhance processes so that demands continue to be met quickly and efficiently. For real and long term improvement we propose that municipalities conduct independent internal annual audits to verify if current activities and results align with the states plans and expectations, as well as changing regulations.

In California they run surveys with key internal stakeholders to see if its current program is meeting and exceeding their expectations. Others can also create a process to facilitate ongoing communication between other agencies and SBEs and other black and minority groups. And participate in benchmarking with other corporations and entities to identify best practices.

 

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