Northam announces legislative steps to increase equity in state procurement

Northam announces legislative steps to increase equity in state procurement
Governor Northam holding a press briefing. (Source: VPM)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced legislative steps to increase equity in state procurement.

The results from a state disparity study “demonstrate the need for narrowly tailored race- and gender-conscious measures to increase equitable opportunities for woman- and minority-owned businesses in state contracting.”

The results will help guide state leaders and legislators on how to increase supplier diversity and equity in the state procurement process.

“State contracting, which represents more than $6 billion annually, can be a powerful tool to create economic opportunity,” said Northam. “This study makes clear that the Commonwealth has significant work to do to maximize the participation of woman- and minority-owned businesses in state contract work. Our Administration remains committed to ensuring Virginia supports and benefits from our diverse business community, and this legislation will help advance our ongoing efforts to make the public procurement process more equitable, inclusive, and transparent.”

To encourage woman- and minority-owned business participation in the procurement process will support legislation that would establish “an overall goal of 23.1 percent discretionary spending with woman- and minority-owned businesses.”

“This percentage represents the average of the participation of woman- and minority-owned businesses in state procurement work over the past five years and their availability for state procurement work. This would apply to discretionary spending in categories from which the Commonwealth derives procurement orders, prime contracts, and subcontracts. This legislation also codifies Governor Northam’s goal of procuring at least 42 percent discretionary spending from SWaM-certified businesses,” a release said.

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