The District recently released results from the Disparity Study in April 2023[E(1] which provides a comprehensive overview of whether a disparity exists between availability and utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses as part of the District’s contracting processes.
In May 2021, the District commissioned the BBC-Pantera-Tiber joint venture team to conduct a disparity study to determine whether a disparity exists between availability and utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses as part of the District’s contracting processes Information from the study will help inform the District toward efforts to encourage women- and minority-owned businesses to bid on District contracts and support improvements which are needed to optimize the District’s contracting processes.
Study analyses. The crux of the disparity study was to examine whether there are any disparities between:
- The percentage of contract dollars the District spent with women- and minority-owned businesses during the study period (utilization); and
- The percentage of contract dollars women- and minority-owned businesses might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of District contracts (availability).
The study period for this disparity study will be contracts and procurements the District awarded from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2020. The study also examined other information related to:
- Legal considerations surrounding the District’s implementation of the CBE program;
- Marketplace conditions for women- and minority- owned businesses;
- Contracting practices and assistance programs the District currently has in place; and
- Potential program measures for the District to consider implementing to further encourage women- and minority-owned business participation.
Key contacts. If you have any questions or comments regarding the District of Columbia Disparity Study, please contact:
Deputy Chief of Staff
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
District of Columbia
(t) 202-297-7548; (e) [email protected]
Project initiation. The District and BBC-Pantera-Tiber initiated the 2021 District of Columbia Disparity Study in May 2021 with a series of meetings with various District agencies and representatives. BBC-Pantera-Tiber met with the District to introduce the study, answer questions, and begin the process of understanding contracting and vendor data the District maintains.
Data collection. BBC-Pantera-Tiber began working with the District in May 2021 to collect data on contracts the District awarded during the study period (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2020) as well as information about the vendors that participated in those contracts.
- Next steps: Interagency Working Group and Equitable Procurement Action Plan An interagency working group will immediately assess disparity study recommendations for expected impact and feasibility and where appropriate, begin implementing both race- and gender- conscious and neutral recommendations.
- The group will produce an Equitable Procurement Action Plan by March 31, 2024, that summarizes implementation to date and outlines next steps for continued implementation of recommendations presented in the study.
- The group will include relevant policy, legal, and data-focused staff from the Office of Contracting and Procurement, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, the Office of Racial Equity, the Mayor’s Office of the General Counsel, DMPED and DSLBD, coordinated by Internal Services. As appropriate, the working group will include representatives from major contracting agencies.
- In FY 2026, the District will contract with an expert person or entity to conduct another comprehensive disparity study examining contract data from FY21-FY25.