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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Disparity Study

Welcome to the 2017 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Disparity Study web page. This page provides information about: 

  • Disparity study background and purpose;
  • Disparity study progress and next steps; and
  • How you can actively engage in the disparity study process.

Background - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has retained BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study that will provide information to help the Department of General Services implement the Commonwealth’s Small Diverse Business Program (SDB). The study includes analyses of the participation of minority-, women-, disabled-, veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses in prime contracts and subcontracts that the Department of General Services awarded during the study period (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016).

The study kicked off in June 2017 and is expected to be complete by September 2018. For details about the study schedule, click here.

 

Purpose of the study - The 2017 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Disparity Study will include a comprehensive analysis of:

  • The percentage of total relevant construction, professional services, goods, and other services contract dollars that minority-, woman-, disabled-, veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses received on prime contracts and subcontracts between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2016 (referred to as utilization);
  • The percentage of dollars that those businesses would be expected to receive based on their availability to perform work on such prime contracts and subcontracts (referred to as availability);
  • Any differences between the participation of minority-, woman-, disabled-, veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses in relevant contracts and the availability of those businesses to perform that work (referred to as disparities);
  • Legal considerations surrounding implementations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s SDB program;
  • Marketplace conditions for disadvantaged businesses;
  • Contracting practices and assistance programs that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania currently has in place; and
  • Potential program measures that Department of General Services could consider implementing as part of its implementation of the Commonwealth’s SDB Program.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the 2017 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Disparity Study, please contact:

Tina M. Marks
Disparity Study Project Coordinator
Department of General Services
Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities
Room 613 North Office Building
401 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120
Email: tinmarks@pa.gov
Phone: (717) 705-5865

DeShawn A. Lewis
Director
Department of General Services
Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities
Room 613 North Office Building

401 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120
Email: delewis@pa.gov
Phone: (717) 705-5865

 
Study Progress
The Commonwealth will provide regular updates about recently completed milestones and next steps throughout the course of the disparity study. Please check back periodically for those updates.
 
Recent Milestones
Project initiation - The Pennsylvania Department of General Services and the BBC study team initiated the 2017 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Disparity Study in June 2017 with a meeting in Harrisburg. The study team met with representatives from the Department of General Services executive team, the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities, and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities to introduce the study and to answer questions. For materials that the study team presented during the project initiation meeting, click here .
Utilization data collection - BBC began working with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in late June 2017 to collect data on contracts that were awarded during the study period and on vendors that participated in those contracts.
Next Steps
Continue utilization data collection - The BBC study team will continue to work with the Department of General Services to collect data on construction, professional services, goods, and other services contracts that the Commonwealth awarded during the study period.
Begin utilization data analysis - The study team will begin analyzing utilization data in July 2017. BBC’s analysis will examine the percentage of total construction, professional services, goods, and other services contract dollars that minority-, woman-, disabled-, veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses received on prime contracts and subcontracts during the study period.
Availability surveys - BBC will begin conducting availability surveys in Fall 2017. The study team will attempt to contact all businesses in the “relevant geographic market area” that perform work that is relevant to the Commonwealth’s construction, professional services, goods, and other services contracts. The study team will collect information that is relevant to determining each business’ availability for Commonwealth work, such as primary line of work; geographic scope of services; and qualifications and interest in working for the Commonwealth. The surveys will also collect information about business characteristics such as revenue, size, and the disadvantaged business status (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, veteran, disabled, and LGBT) of ownership.