Google Plus Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Vimeo RSS
CPBJ Extra Blog

Do small diversity-owned businesses need special consideration to win contracts?

By

Here's something interesting that staff reporter Jason Scott shared with me last week: Sen. Anthony Williams is looking to introduce a bill that would “promote Commonwealth procurement with small diverse businesses, which are currently lost in the unpredictable and confusing certification processes.”

Williams, D-Delaware and Philadelphia counties, cites several claims in his pitch for the bill, including that the "African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA/NJ/DE (says) only 18% of their businesses are certified for Commonwealth procurement. Additionally, the Philadelphia Daily News reports that large corporations often form or use 'pass-through' organizations for an advantage in bidding. Further, large prime contractors are abusing small diverse subcontractors by refusing to follow through on payments."

Those are some weighty claims. I find that last one particularly odd, because you'd expect any subcontractors who were not being paid for work to be filing complaints.

Williams' pitch goes on:

"This legislation will ensure predictable, visible standards and methods for a minority-, woman-, veteran-, or service-disabled veteran-owned business to become certified as a small diverse business for procurement. It gives small diverse businesses tools such as a hotline to report fraud, assistance with certifications and contract compliance, and funneling contract modifications through the Bureau to combat against abuse by prime contractors. It also adds penalties for non-compliance and for abuse of a small diverse business's certified status."

I understand that this bill proposal is still in the planning stages, but I'd love to see how Williams suggest paying to staff such a hotline and to provide such assistance with certifications and contract compliance. In an age of cutting government employees — which means the remaining workers need to pick up the leftover work — I'm curious about how this new assistance would be provided and paid for.

On the other hand, I've love to hear from some of our midstate diversity-owned business owners on this topic. Is this truly a problem for you? Would such government-mandated help be welcome?

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli is the managing editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a question or tip for her? Email her at amy@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @amygulli. Circle Amy Gulli on .

Leave a Comment

test

Please note: All comments will be reviewed and may take up to 24 hours to appear on the site.

Post Comment
View Comment Policy

Comments

close
Subscribe to Our Newsletters!
Click Here to Subscribe for Free Now!