State Releases Disparity Study

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The Indiana Department of Administration has released its 2015-2016 Disparity Study on the utilization of minority-owned and women-owned businesses for state contracts. The study was presented to the Governor's Commission on Minority & Women's Business Enterprises.

The study examined the availability of minority- and women-owned businesses for state contracts compared with the actual utilization of those businesses in state contracting to determine if any disparities exist. A disparity study must be completed every five years, per state law.

"We’re pleased to release the Disparity Study results to the Governor’s Commission on Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises," said Jessica Robertson, IDOA commissioner. "These results will allow IDOA to continue our efforts to ensure equal access and opportunity for minority- and women-owned businesses in state contracting."

The state called on BBC Research & Consulting to conduct the study, which examined contract data for construction, professional services and goods and supplies from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2013. The IDOA listed some of the key findings from the study:

  • The disparity index across combined sectors of construction, professional services and goods and supplies is 93, indicating near parity in the utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses across the state.
  • The disparity index for Public Works contracts—on which the state did not enforce the use of MBE/WBE contract goals during the study period—is 37, indicating a substantial disparity between the utilization and availability of minority- and women-owned businesses.
  • Four groups exhibited no disparities when considering all contracts together – white women-owned businesses, Asian Pacific American-owned businesses, Hispanic American-owned businesses and Native American-owned businesses.
  • Two groups exhibited disparity indices below parity when considering all contracts together – Black American-owned businesses and Subcontinent Asian American-owned businesses.
  • All groups except for Subcontinent Asian American-owned businesses exhibited disparity indices below parity on Public Works contracts.

BBC Research & Consulting Director Sameer Bawa says the results of the study are consistent with what his company has seen across the country. "When participation goals are established and monitored for minority- and women-owned businesses, those groups fare much better in contracting and have higher utilization numbers than when goals are absent."

The IDOA says the Governor's Commission on Minority & Women's Business Enterprises will review the findings and set participation goals for state contracting for minority- and women-owned businesses. You can view the full report below:

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