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Pennsylvania Launches New Policies to Increase Diversity Among State Contractors

first_img June 15, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Pennsylvania Launches New Policies to Increase Diversity Among State Contractorscenter_img Economy,  Equality,  Press Release Continuing his commitment to small businesses (SBs) and small diverse businesses (SBDs), Governor Tom Wolf announced new procurement changes to improve opportunities for minority-, women-, LGBT-, veteran- and disabled-owned businesses ¬– to compete for state government contracts and succeed in the commonwealth’s economy.“This is another important step forward in the ambitious project my administration launched five years ago to open doors for small and diverse businesses in state contracting and to make the process more inclusive and diverse,” said Governor Wolf. “We have made progress, but there is more work to do. We cannot allow some people to be shut out of a chance to get a state contract. Our economy and our communities work best when everyone has a fair chance of success.”Today’s actions are the direct result of the governor’s Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania’s Economy executive order signed in 2015. The order created the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) within the Department of General Services, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities and led to the 2018 Statewide Disparity Study which examined disparities in the commonwealth’s contracting system and made recommendations for improvement.“These policy and program changes will allow us to increase opportunities for small diverse businesses in state contracts,” said Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper. “Historically, the state contracting process has been uneven, inconsistent and unfair in providing opportunities for SBs and SDBs to do business with the commonwealth.”There are three new changes taking effect.First, each competitive state procurement will use goal setting for SDB participation on each solicitation with the intent to achieve a 26.3 percent state contract spending with SDBs .The goals are determined using an analysis and calculation of the percentage of DGS verified SDBs available to do the specific work as determined by the Disparity Study and other factors. Goal setting replaces the previous scoring process used to evaluate proposals and starts today for construction solicitations over $300,000 and on August 17, 2020 for goods and services solicitations over $250,000.Second, the department has set a goal of 4.6 percent of state contract spend to veteran-owned businesses through the new Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) program as recommended by the Commonwealth Disparity Study. To increase the availability of VBEs, the commonwealth will now consider a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprises as both an SDB firm and a VBE firm. This consideration is granted providing the applicant holds approved third-party certification from the Veterans Affairs Vets First Verification Program and eliminates the need to go through an additional third-party SDB certification process. The department will consider contract-specific goals for VBE participation on each individual solicitation over the dollar thresholds identified for SDB goal setting, and the VBE contract specific goals will be calculated based upon availability of VBE firms.Third, the administration has tasked all state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to have at least 15 percent of their contract spending go to eligible, state-certified small businesses through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. The program helps all DGS-certified small businesses to compete as prime contractors on state contracting opportunities. Each agency has an executive-level employee responsible for ensuring the goal is achieved.“We are committed to achieving the commonwealth’s goal to do 26 percent of our business with small diverse businesses has truly been a group effort,” said Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities Kerry Kirkland. “Through the hard work of the Bureau of Diversity Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities staff along with the Advisory council and our legislative supports, we are positioning our small and small diverse businesses for success and sustainability in our economy.”Kirkland praised the hard work of the BDISBO staff and involvement of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Businesses Opportunities has led to the implementation of key policy and program changes such as: using the best value contracting method to increase SDB participation in contracting opportunities; creating the Agency liaison Program to ensure that SB/SDB contracting opportunities are part of all annual commonwealth agency purchasing plans; and creating the Mentor-Protégé Program that pairs prime contractors and/or suppliers with DGS-verified SDBs to provide developmental assistance and help them successfully solicit and perform on commonwealth contracting opportunities.Visit the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunity for more detailed information on the new policies and programs as well as the Wolf Administration’s efforts to diversity state contracting and opportunities for small and diverse businesses.Ver esta página en español.last_img read more

EU, Liberia CBRN National Action Plan Validates New Findings Today

first_imgA cross section of participants and trainers at the CBRN new National Action Plan W/shop in Monrovia.Suggests possible ways to mitigate challenges The European Union (EU) in collaboration with a host of Liberian stakeholders will on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, conclude a three-day action plan validation on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN), as well as explosives dangerous to environment and people.The workshop, which began on Monday, April 8, 2019, at a resort in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, is expected to come to an end with emphasis placed on risk mitigation.Professor Martin Scott-Tabi, Desk Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs,  said this year’s CBRN exercise brings to an end last year’s strategic action plan for the implementation of ideas to mitigate risks posed by the use, and disposal of chemicals that tend to threaten the environment.Mr. Martin Scott-Tabi, principal deputy for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign AffairsTabi said as last year’s action plan comes to an end, a new action plan validating specific findings to prepare government ministries and agencies, as well as the private sector to fight against the lack of controlled CBRN, is in the offing.“Yesterday marked the end of an era in the CBRN risk mitigation exercises, which began in 2013, and marked the beginning of a new project, which is the validation of needs assessed on the first workshop of the national action plan,” he said.Tabi said the a group of focal persons at the event will draft a national action plan to make Liberia’s input from line ministries and agencies on the gaps identified so that European Union will tailor specific training, and its co-sponsors and founders to support the country to have a concise CBRN society where chemicals locations are known by their quantities in line with best international practices.He said the primary benefit for ordinary people is that those who receive EU sponsored training will understand the need to be careful with chemicals and other biological and radiological materials.“Liberia may not have that much risk of CBRN, but it is a transit zone for those chemicals, mainly with ships coming in and anchoring at the country’s ports,” Tabi said.According to him, said it is great challenge that Liberians do not have education in the country on nuclear risk, therefore, the need for first aid connected to nuclear items, in case there is explosion, cannot be over-emphasized.Juan Antonio Frutos Goldaratz, EU head of political affairs, press and information section of the delegation to Liberia, said the CBRN Action Plan is supported by the EU initiative to reduce risks related to the CBRN materials through the eight centers of excellence, which bring together 61 countries.“The objective of this initiative launched in 2010, is to support partner countries to develop and strengthen national capacities, internal coordination, and regional and international cooperation to address their challenges and reduce their risks related to CBRN materials,” Goldaratz said.He added that the initiative seeks to help partner countries prevent, be prepared and respond to CBRN-related incidents, of criminal, accidental or natural origin.He said the EU is encouraging and supporting Liberia and other countries to develop their national action plans, and strengthen their capacities to reduce risks related to CBRN materials.The participants were drawn from the Liberia National Police (LNP), soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), and representatives from the Ministry of Health (MoH).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more