Wheatley applauds state’s efforts to update state contracting process to improve opportunities for diverse businesses

PITTSBURGH, June 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to improve opportunities for minority, women, LGBT, veteran and disabled-owned businesses to compete for state contracts.

Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the governor’s changes, part of his Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania’s Economy executive order, would accomplish the following:

  • Each competitive state procurement would use goal setting for small diverse businesses, with the intent of achieving a 26.3% state contract spending with SDBs. This would replace the previous scoring process used by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to evaluate submitted proposals for construction projects over $300,000 (as of June 15) and for goods and services solicitations over $250,000 (beginning Aug. 17).
     
  • DGS will set a goal of 4.6 percent of state contract spending to veteran-owned businesses through its Veteran Business Enterprise program, as recommended by the 2018 Statewide Disparity Study, which examined disparities in the state’s contracting system and made improvement recommendations.
     
  • State agencies will be required to have at least 15% of their contract spending to go to eligible, state-certified small businesses through the Small Business Reserve program under DGS. This program helps all qualified businesses to compete as prime contractors on state contracting opportunities.

“This is great news for our minority and women-owned businesses in our local communities and across our state to level the playing field, something that I’ve been working toward and supporting for years,” said Wheatley. “These changes will provide significantly more opportunities for them to take part in the state procurement process and puts our state one step closer to opening more doors to these businesses and ensure the overall process is more inclusive and diverse.”

More information can be found at the following link: https://www.dgs.pa.gov/Small%20Diverse%20Business%20Program/Documents/Taking%20Action%20Against%20Disparities.pdf