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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

Nigerian court decides in favor of NLNG in NIMASA dispute

first_imgThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos delivered judgment in favor of Nigeria LNG in the case between the company and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the applicability of NIMASA levies.NIMASA had alleged that NLNG was liable to pay three percent gross freight on its international inbound and outbound cargo, Sea Protection Levy, two percent cabotage surcharge on all activities carried out for and on its behalf, as well as other sundry claims, all of which NLNG disputed.The court held that NLNG was not liable to make the said payments to NIMASA, and that all such payments already made by NLNG to NIMASA should be refunded to NLNG forthwith.  held that NIMASA was wrong in blockading the Bonny channel for the purpose of enforcing the payments against NLNG.In addition, the court held that NIMASA was wrong in blockading the Bonny channel for the purpose of enforcing the payments against NLNG.NLNG, in 2013, filed the case at the Federal High Court against NIMASA, seeking a judicial determination on, among other things, the legality or otherwise of the levies sought to be imposed on NLNG by NIMASA, and the consequent blockade of the Bonny channel by NIMASA and its agents as a result of the dispute.NLNG had also sought a Court Order restraining NIMASA from further blockade of the channel. An Interim Injunction granted in favor of NLNG by the Federal High Court was disobeyed by NIMASA, which again effected a blockade of the Bonny channel for over a three week period whilst the matter was pending, thereby preventing NLNG vessels and other vessels doing business with NLNG, from entry and exit through the channel.NIMASA had filed a counterclaim restating its supposed entitlement to receive payment of the levies from NLNG.However, the Federal High Court judgement reinforces NLNG’s position that by the provisions of the applicable laws, the company is not subject to payment to NIMASA of the three percent gross freight as well as the Sea Protection Levy, and that the two percent Cabotage Levy is inapplicable because NLNG’s LNG vessels are not involved in coastal trade or cabotage.last_img read more

Lowry attack pays dividends

first_img Press Association An aggressive approach paid off for Ireland’s Shane Lowry in the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. Lowry was one over par after nine holes played in the tougher afternoon conditions on Thursday, but birdied five holes on the back nine to complete an opening 68 and claim a share of third place, two shots behind leader Rory McIlroy. ” If you lay back you leave yourself a long way into these greens and it’s tough to get it anywhere close,” said Lowry, who won the Irish Open while still an amateur in 2009. “If you lay back you’re sort of playing for par so I took on the back nine. center_img “I hit driver on 10, 17 and 18, as well. When you hit a good driver, it kills the hole. On 17 I was between eight and nine iron for my second shot. And down 18 it was just a nice 5-wood onto the green. Over the course of the week you might hit it in the bunkers once or twice, but I’m confident with the way I hit my driver.” Asked about the changing conditions, Lowry added: “Yea h, it was even a different golf course than the one I was watching back at the house on TV. I couldn’t believe how firm the greens were playing. The par-three sixth hole was tough to stop the ball on the green. “When you see six under leading and a good few under par as well I think I was getting a little annoyed on the front nine because of a couple of bogeys and silly mistakes, but I managed to make a few birdies on the back nine.” last_img read more

Talks with Tim Floyd send wrong message

first_img“The Fifth Down” runs Wednesdays. To comment on this story, email Alex at ajshultz@usc.edu or visit dailytrojan.com. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that USC Athletic Director Pat Haden reached out to former USC men’s basketball head coach Tim Floyd. The two met for over three hours to discuss the Trojans’ coaching situation beyond this season. Haden declined to comment, but Floyd said everything “went well.”At this point, I’d like to interject. Tim Floyd? The guy who unceremoniously left town and played a part in the Trojans vacating their 21-win 2007-08 season for possible NCAA infractions? Has Haden lost his mind?Some will throw out the cliches that come with an ongoing coaching search — Haden is covering his bases and doing his due diligence by speaking to Floyd, who has an intimate knowledge of the program and was fairly successful at USC. After all, Floyd was 85-55 with the Trojans, making three straight NCAA tournament appearances. Few have had his level of success in school history. I get that logic, to a certain extent.But Floyd, who has maintained his innocence in the wake of the O.J. Mayo scandal that sent shockwaves through an already fragile basketball program, is about as toxic as they come for an athletic director who has tried to distance himself from any shady activity. Whether the current University of Texas at El Paso coach was simply giving his two cents or throwing his name out there as a candidate makes no difference — Haden should not be speaking with Floyd, period.Though USC has been playing inspired basketball of late, picking up a big-time victory over then-No. 11 Arizona and going 6-2 in its last eight contests, no one can blame Haden for seeing what the coaching market looks like beyond interim option Bob Cantu. In fact, I applaud him for reaching out to longtime Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins, who is from Southern California and is the rumored successor to Jim Boeheim.It’s a match that makes sense for both sides — Hopkins returns home and gets his first head coaching opportunity while USC gets one of the most desired assistants in the country with the pedigree of an elite basketball program to boot — which is what makes the Floyd situation even more dumbfounding.There are a baker’s dozen of elite assistants across the country licking their chops at the opportunity to be the head honcho at a major university. There are also plenty of other candidates, including Memphis’ Josh Pastner and Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon, who would have some level of interest in the position.And there’s still Cantu, who has righted the ship for an underperforming team that is entering the Pac-12 tournament playing its best basketball of the season. The options are there. No need to muddy up the process by bringing bad press into this decision.That’s what Floyd really is  — bad press. He’s pointed out that, technically, the NCAA never found him guilty of any violations. Most have their doubts, but even under the assumption that he’s clean, what’s the point of entertaining the thought of bringing him back? If he truly had no idea about any recruiting violations, then that in itself is an issue no USC sports team should want to deal with. Any media story involving Floyd would make its way back to Mayo.I’m all for thinking outside the box with this pending coaching decision. I hope Haden chooses someone with recruiting power, NCAA tournament pedigree and the passion necessary to revitalize a mostly dormant team. With Floyd, however, Haden is taking things a step too far. He’s without a doubt an accomplished coach, one capable of turning around a program as he did with USC a few years ago. But when it comes down to it, there are other choices that make more sense and carry far less baggage. The last thing USC needs right now is more controversy surrounding one of its sports teams.last_img read more

Jamaican cops seize large stash of cocaine from hull of Spanish…

first_imgJamaican police make large cocaine seizure at Gordon Cay Jamaican cops seize large stash of cocaine seized from hull of Spanish shipThe Narcotics Police, the Marine Division along with the Jamaica Customs Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) made a multi-million dollar cocaine seizure at Gordon Cay, Port Bustamante, Kingston on Sunday, May 14.Reports are that about 2:18 a.m., security personnel observed a suspicious object attached to the hull of one of the ships, which arrived in the island on Friday, May 12 from Valencia, Spain. The Police and the CET were summoned.The object was discovered to be a metal canister. Checks revealed that the canister contained fifty-eight rectangular parcels of cocaine.The illicit drug weighed 75.35 kilograms and has an estimated street value of J$71.63 million (US $551,000).No arrest has been made in connection with the seizure.Jamaican woman tried to smuggle cocaine in beef patty boxlast_img read more