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City of Seattle

April 30, 11:57 AM click here to comment > 3

Improving competition for women and minority businesses

On Monday, April 26, 2010, Mayor Mike McGinn issued an executive order that requires city of Seattle departments to increase contracting with, and purchasing from, women and minority-owned businesses (WMBEs) by expanding outreach efforts, creating new opportunities, and establishing direct accountability.

The intent is simple: Giving Seattle’s women and minority businesses a fair way to compete for city contracting and purchasing opportunities. Although city budgets are smaller, the city of Seattle intends to continue and strengthen our pursuit of a fair playing field and successful outcomes to our women and minority companies when they compete for city business. We all benefit when everyone in our community has a meaningful chance to compete for these opportunities.

This Executive Order puts city department heads on notice that they are directly accountable to the mayor for not only outreach to the WMBE community, but to increase the successful award and participation of WMBE firms in city contracts.

For example, under this Executive Order, city construction contracts will not only require a WMBE outreach plan for subcontracting, but we will expect and require compliance. Departments will also be required to consider size and scale of bid opportunities, to ensure WMBE firms will not be shut out from a chance to directly compete for prime contract awards or to participate in meaningful subcontracting opportunities.

We also know that what gets measured can be improved, which is why this Executive Order requires each city department to establish specific aspirational WMBE goals. Departments’ performance will be tracked and if they’re falling short, we’ll look for ways to improve their performance. You can find the full text of the Executive Order online here.

Posted by: Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith


Comment from Alice Davis
Time April 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Community Capital Development is eager to assist in supporting this Executive Order. We applaud the Mayor’s efforts to reach out to our target market. Bravo to Mayor McGinn!

Comment from Former Employee
Time May 3, 2010 at 8:37 am

Get a clue. Seattle’s been trying to do this for 20 years, with no success. Why? There aren’t enough WMBE-owned construction business in the area with the funding or bonding capacity to handle municipal contracts unless you subdivide the work in violation of 39.04. Period. ‘Direct accountability’ and “aspirational goals” equals quotas in violation of I-200. Continue focussing on supply and service contracts. That’s where you’ll see benefits not only to WMBE businesses, but to local businesses. Brenda Bauer could tell you all about what has and hasn’t worked. Oh, wait. You eliminated her position. Never mind.

Comment from The-Anh Nguyen
Time May 11, 2010 at 2:57 am

The problem is acquiring the BOND and waiting to get pay or reimburse for supply costs. Also the city bidding practice is the problem. The city purchase decision makers need to rotate. Problematic with un-ethical practices such as buddy bids(taking the highest 3 bids and suggest their friend lower bid as favorable), or lazy bids take whatever is offer rather than doing outreach and research to find vendors.