Aiming to promote equal opportunity and access for diverse companies in state contracting, the Baker administration proposed on Monday setting up the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office as a separate state agency.
The bill would give the office, which is now part of the Operational Services Division, tools to ensure compliance with diversity goals, including a state spending audit function.
“Our administration is committed to continuing to promote growth and opportunity and ensure the Commonwealth takes every opportunity to support and benefit from its diverse business community,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.
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Other planned improvements, according to the administration, include a more active role for the new office in engaging diverse and small businesses in public procurements, expanded reporting for spending between state contractors and their diverse business partners, publication of minority-business-enterprise spending by race and ethnicity, expansion of the Small Business Purchasing Program, increased bid evaluation percentages for procurements in order to promote more diversity, and translation of Supplier Diversity Office materials into multiple languages.
The office currently helps "small and diverse businesses" apply for government contracts, according to its website, and certifies businesses as being diverse.