The Department of General Services' (DGS) BDISBO is responsible for assisting small and diverse businesses, including Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises, Veteran Business Enterprises, Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, Disability-Owned Business Enterprises, and LGBT Business Enterprises with competing for Commonwealth contracting opportunities. BDISBO's duties and scope of services encompass the following areas of influence:
- Policy – Developing more efficient protocols and re-examining existing policies to ensure that they are conducive to the advancement of our bureau's mission and vision.
- Outreach – Proactively engaging both diverse communities and business owners to educate them about the vast number of contracting opportunities that presently exist and will be emerging with the Commonwealth.
- Technical Assistance – Providing direct guidance and employing a hands-on approach in the way that we assist our existing and prospective customers who are interested in doing business with the Commonwealth.
- Agency Liaison Program – Establishing and broadening the lines of communication between BDISBO and the state agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction to ensure that there is greater utilization of small and small diverse businesses relative to available Commonwealth contracting opportunities.
- Certification Verification – Ensuring that entities that wish to do business with the Commonwealth are eligible to participate in DGS's Small Diverse Business Program or its Small Business Contracting Program. BDISBO facilitates the verification of certifications for participating businesses.
- Goal Setting/Waivers – BDISBO is charged with the important task of setting goals for certified small and small diverse businesses seeking to do business with the Commonwealth. These include mandatory goals for our race-neutral 'Small Business Reserve Program (15 percent) and Veteran Small Businesses (4.6 percent). Establish an overall aspirational subcontracting goal for our race-conscious Small Diverse Business program for all solicitations over $250,000 (26.3 percent). The Bureau prides itself on utilizing a highly objective and methodological process to determine goal setting on a contract-by-contract basis. BDISBO assists agencies with determining the issuance of waivers by reviewing satisfactory Good Faith Effort (GFE) documentation submitted by an offeror when stated goals in full or partially cannot be feasibly attained.
- Compliance – One of the most important functions of BDISBO is to monitor the actions of program participants to ensure that they are honoring their contractual commitments. Therefore, it is not lost upon the Bureau that any aspirational goals advanced by the Bureau cannot be realized without some semblance of oversight and accountability.
- Stakeholder Engagement – Success of any kind cannot be achieved in a vacuum. It is for this reason that we actively solicit the ideas and input of individuals, business owners, policymakers, and other interested parties to ensure that the Bureau's efforts and internal policies are collaboratively forged.
- Disparity Study – BDISBO fully intends to utilize this tangible document as a touchstone for driving our programmatic and measuring the overall success of DGS's Small Diverse Business Program and the Small Business Contracting Program. For more information about DGS's 2018 Disparity Study, or visit: https://www.dgs.pa.gov/Businesses/Small%20Diverse%20Business%20Program/Documents/Disparity%20Study%20Documents/2018%20DGS%20Disparity%20Study%20Final%20Report.pdf
BDISBO, through DGS's Verification Program, verifies self-certified small businesses as Small Diverse Businesses (SDBs) when they hold certifications from third-party entities including: