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Minority business contracting


Los Angeles, CA — The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ request for a report to determine whether the county has achieved its goal that 25% of participants in contracting and purchasing programs are minority, women, disabled veterans, and disadvantaged-owned businesses.

The report, which the Supervisor said is essentially an audit of County contracting, will include a breakdown by each department, an evaluation of whether the contracting goal could be increased and consideration of whether achieving these goals should be included in annual managerial performance reviews.

The report also will include a recommendation on whether to establish a separate commission dedicated to promoting Community Based Enterprises (CBE), whether to create a director position to coordinate and develop these programs, and to assist County departments in meeting goals established by the Board.

“The intent of the motion is principally to call for an update of what it is that has been done and what then might be improved, consistent with maximizing the role that community based enterprises can play throughout the County of Los Angeles,” the Supervisor said.

The motion, he said, includes “a due diligence process that would be inclusive of existing entities … and measure their effectiveness as objectively as is deemed reasonable.”

The Supervisor directed the County’s Chief Executive Officer to work with the Directors of the County’s Internal Services Department, Office of Affirmative Action and Compliance and County Counsel to return in 60 days with a report on the matter.

The motion also calls for County officials to identify obstacles to CBE participation in county contracting, including credit issues, bonding and county bidding procedures, and include recommendations to resolve these obstacles. It comes at a time when the County is receiving millions in federal stimulus funding.