The Pensacola City Council approved the program design of the proposed Minority & Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Program presented by MGT of America on December 9th during a City Council workshop session attended by Mayor Ashton Hayward, where the program was presented by Reggie Smith, Managing Partner of MGT. In July 2011, the City Council commissioned a Comprehensive Disparity Study to determine whether there was a compelling interest to establish a narrowly-tailored minority and women-owned business enterprise program. The study was conducted by MGT and presented to the City Council on September 12, 2012. As a result of the study’s findings, the City Council hired MGT in 2013 to develop an M/WBE Program Policy.
Mayor Ashton Hayward, accompanied by the new City Administrator, Colleen Castille, began the council workshop with a strong endorsement of the M/WBE Program design. Following the mayor’s presentation, Reggie Smith, Managing Partner of MGT provided the background on the 2012 disparity study and its recommendations. Smith reviewed the five Florida minority and women business enterprise programs that were utilized to design the Pensacola plan. The program elements of the City of Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Beach County Schools, Polk County and the City of Tampa were cited as being relevant to the Pensacola M/WBE Program.
The policy statement reads as follows: It is the policy of the City of Pensacola, hereinafter referred to as the City to: (1) provide small, minority, and women businesses equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of the City’s contracting and purchasing programs, including but not limited to, participation in procurement contracts for materials, services, construction and repair work and lease agreements; (2) prohibit discrimination against any person or business in pursuit of these opportunities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or status as a service-disabled veteran, and (3) to conduct its contracting and purchasing programs so as to prevent any discrimination prohibited by state law and federal law relating to discrimination in employment; (4) modify or expand the existing Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program.
The program objectives were defined as described below:
A) To provide small, minority, and women business enterprises equal access to opportunity for participation in City contracts for Construction, Professional Services, Other Services, and Goods and Supplies.
B) To provide procedures for determining and monitoring M/WBE participation and compliance with the M/WBE requirements stated in the Policy.
C) Revise the bidding procedures and guidelines to increase the potential for M/WBE participation.
D) To encourage all City of Pensacola personnel involved in procurement and contracting activities to conduct good faith in soliciting M/WBE firms in the City’s purchasing procedures.
E) Increase awareness of this M/WBE Program and identify M/WBE firms.
F) To promote awareness of this M/WBE Program throughout the City of Pensacola and neighboring communities.
A City Of Pensacola is projecting the hosting of a town hall meeting in January 2014 to provide the larger business community an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to MGT and city officials on the design and implementation of the program. Following the town hall meeting the program will go before the City Council for final approval.
Continue to read The Pensacola Voice as we will provide continued updates on this historic process