Governor's Advisory Council
On September 23, 2015, Governor Wolf signed Executive Order 2015-11, Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and Pennsylvania's Economy ("Executive Order"). In addition to expanding the definition of Small Diverse Business (SDB) to include LGBT and Disability-Owned Businesses, the order established the Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities ("Council") and charged the Council with making recommendations for transformative changes to the Commonwealth's procurement protocols.
The Council works to create a welcoming Pennsylvania where Small and Small Diverse Businesses (SBs/SDBs) can compete fairly to provide goods and services as prime and subcontractors to all departments and agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction.
The Council is co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Departments of General Services (DGS), Transportation (PennDOT), Community & Economic Development (DCNR), and Labor & Industry (L&I). Geographically diverse private sector members represent the constituencies defined in the Executive Order.
Three Council subcommittees - Inclusion & Certification, Program Goals & Metrics, and Training & Workforce Development - conducted the initial review of Commonwealth procurement protocols. The review produced ten recommendations for expanding SB/SDB participation in Commonwealth procurements which the Governor adopted in January 2017.
DGS Secretary Curt Topper and Deputy Secretary Kerry Kirkland are managing the implementation of the Council's recommendations, making the tough decisions required to reform the procurement culture in the complex organization of state government. Although changing the culture and outcomes will be a distance race, the application of the recommendations has already begun to redefine procurement in Pennsylvania and will increase the quality, sophistication, and dollar value of Commonwealth contracting with SBs/SDBs.