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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

Iconic Brisbane castle to be demolished for new houses

first_img FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK MORE Real Estate expert Andrew Winter on why SEQ’s property market is so strong Best On Show: Win $20,000 towards your new homecenter_img Locals know it simply as ‘The Castle’ and three bidders were joined by more than 100 curious onlookers in the giant internal courtyard of the five-bedroom home. Onlookers wait for the auction to begin.“That’s my favourite part of the house,” joint seller Marcel Lelievre said afterwards.“Just entertaining or being with family and friends down there. It’s a very special place. No one ever goes there and doesn’t enjoy the peace and serenity.” The property backs on to John Goss Reserve.Kevin Tabrizi and his father Mohammad Tabrizi of Tabrizi Home Builders, were standing in the shade of the courtyard, but it was the 1012sq m level block and the view across to Moreton Bay from the top level open balcony that they had come to bid for. A unique view of Brisbane.“We’re planning to knock it over and build again,” Kevin Tabrizi said. Kevin and Mohammad Tabrizi, after purchasing 14 Ashley Rd, Chermside West.“Vacant lots around Chermside West are hard to come by.“It’s quite a unique position and we think there’s good underlying demand.“We are considering a couple of options, the potential is to split it into two blocks.”Kevin Tabrizi opened bidding at $700,000, with one other party bidding against him. Some of the unique architectural features at 14 Ashley Rd, Chermside West.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours agoParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours ago“Developers, families who loved the architecture and uniqueness of the property have all shown an interest,” Ray White Aspley’s Deborah McCulloch said.“More than 120 have been through the house. Everyone knows The Castle.” Auction visitors take pictures from the home’s unique upper level. The observation tower.Within 20 minutes, auctioneer Mitch Peereboom had accepted five bids and negotiated an extra $10,000 behind closed doors to secure Mr Tabrizi’s winning bid of $880,000. The downstairs kitchen.“What value,” one onlooker said as the hammer fell.“I thought it would go for considerably more, but that’s the market at the moment,” said Mr Lelievre, who paid $650,000 for the property in 2013.“I think it was right about where we thought it would go,” Mr Tabrizi said. This castle at 14 Ashley Rd, Chermside West has sold at auction for $880,000.The walls of this iconic Brisbane castle will soon come tumbling down to make way for new houses, after a developer snapped the property up at auction.The property sold under the hammer for $880,000 at auction over the weekend, with demolition now in its future to make way for new developments. The Castle at 14 Ashley Rd, Chermside West.The iconic home at 14 Ashley Rd, Chermside West, was based on a traditional Portuguese country villa when it was built for a Brisbane-based artist in the late 1970s.last_img read more

Police: Three Arrested For Armed Robbery, Including Victim’s Daughter

first_imgPolice responded to Village in the Woods apartments for a report of an armed robbery on WednesdayThree people are behind bars after an alleged armed robbery in Batesville including the victim’s own daughter.Batesville Police responded to a residence at Village in the Woods apartments on Tekulve Road for a report of an armed robbery on Wednesday around 6:30 p.m.The victim, a 44 year-old man, reported he was awakened in his bedroom by a male suspect armed with a knife. The victim told police he was forced into the living room of the residence, where he observed a second suspect, also armed with a knife.Batesville Police Chief Stan Hold said the suspects demanded money and the victim’s car keys, then fled the residence, leaving in the victim’s 2001 Ford Focus.The victim recognized the suspects as acquaintances of his 15 year-old daughter. The victim’s daughter fled the residence with the male suspects and was later determined to be involved in the robbery, Holt said.The suspects were spotted by a Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputy about a half-hour later on I-74 at the Greensburg exit. Following a vehicle pursuit, all three suspects were taken into custody.Three suspects were taken into custody including an 18-year-old male, Angel Camarena, of Batesville. Also arrested was a 16 year-old male and the victim’s 15 year-old daughter.All three are facing charges of Armed Robbery and Criminal Confinement, both Class B felonies, along with Auto theft and theft, both class D felonies.The juveniles are being held in a juvenile facility, while Camarena is being held in the Decatur County Jail on additional charges of Resisting Law Enforcement with a Motor Vehicle a class D felony and Reckless Driving a class B misdemeanor.All suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.last_img read more

‘GOL Responsible for Victoria’s Death’

first_imgAttorney Kofi Woods calls for comprehensive investigations of the Nov. 17, 2018 electoral violence to bring the perpetrators to bookHuman Rights Lawyer Samuel Koffi Woods has declared that the government of Liberia is responsible for the death of Victoria Zayzay, the young mother-to-be who was incarcerated by police following a dispute with a neighbor and who was hours later found “unconscious” in her cell but later pronounced dead on arrival at Redemption Hospital outside Monrovia.“The Liberian government is responsible for the death of twenty-one year Victoria Zayzay, and her unborn baby found dead in police custody in which an autopsy report described the death as ‘uncertain,’” said Atty. Woods. Speaking at Victoria’s funeral last Thursday at the Bethel Church in Lower Virginia, outside Monrovia, Atty. Woods said the failure of the government to find the cause of Ms. Zayzay’s death is an indication that it is time for Liberian women to mount pressure on the government to bring the perpetrator to justice.Attorney Woods who is the head of the legal team of the late Victoria Zayzay said the failure of the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Justice to establish how Victoria died should be enough for the heads of the two agencies of government to be dismissed.Young Zayzay died under mysterious circumstances in police custody on October 21, 2015. She was arrested on October 20 at about 6:30 p.m. by police officers and charged with simple assault and was placed in the female holding cell of Zone-6/Depot-1 Police Station on Hotel Africa Road in Virginia. According to the commander, a few hours later, Victoria was found unconscious in the cell, with her lappa tied to the cell gate around her neck. She was found in a sitting position and leaning against the cell gate with her head bent, resting on her chest. Police claimed she was hurriedly removed from the cell and rushed to Redemption Hospital for medical attention, but was pronounced dead on arrival.Police later claimed she committed suicide, which her family rejected as impossible, gaining support across the country.The Liberian government brought in a Ghanaian pathologist, Dr. E. K. Wiredu, who after extensive examination of the body concluded the cause of death as “Not Determined.”Continuing his statement, Attorney Woods said: “Gone are the days when the government would not accept responsibility for its failure to protect the Liberian people.”In a somber mood, Woods said he had hoped for … hundreds of Liberians and their organizations to join women advocacy groups to demand justice for Victoria.He called on Liberians to support the victim’s family in seeking justice so that Liberians can go to bed in peace; so that they won’t fear being raped and killed.“If there is justice for the rich,” Woods stated, “there must be justice for the poor.”Pointing out that those responsible for the death of Victoria are still in the employ of the government, Woods called on Liberians to be aware that Victoria’s experience is Liberia’s tragedy.Making reference to the autopsy report that described the cause of death as undetermined, Woods said “this happens to too many persons and Liberians must call an end to it.”He meanwhile called on the government to produce an autopsy report that would state the cause(s) of Victoria’s death.In her statement, Mrs. Bernice Freeman of Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET) said the government is responsible for Victoria’s death since she died while in the custody of the Liberia National Police.Mrs. Freeman challenged the government to find those responsible for Victoria’s death within two weeks.“It’s time that Liberian women stand up and ensure that Victoria’s killers are prosecuted for their action,” she said, and vowed that Liberian women would not be deterred and would not rest until justice prevails for Victoria.The late Victoria was buried at the Brewerville Cemetery. The director and lead investigator of the Independent Human Rights Investigators, (IHRI), Adama Dempster, told journalists last Wednesday that suspicious deaths have emerged as another trend in Liberia, creating fear and insecurity among Liberians and other residents. He urged the government to provide security and improve on the status of the country’s human rights in the wake of UNMIL’s drawdown.Other human rights advocates that have been instrumental in the search for justice for Victoria Zayzay are Liberia Independent Advocate for Human Rights (LIAHR) and the Advocacy Movement for Montserrado County. Victoria was born June 29, 1994. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Zayzay of Virginia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more