Disparity Study & Availability Study
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Bexar County Disparity & Availability Study
The County wishes to learn the status of opportunities for small, minority, and women-owned businesses (SMWBE) to participate in county contracts and undertake all necessary and affirmative steps to ensure that such businesses are afforded equal opportunity for participation. To that end, the County seeks a consultant or a team of consultants to conduct a Disparity & Availability Study.
What is this Disparity and Availability Study?
It is an evaluation of the procurement practices of Bexar County to determine business availability and utilization.
What is the purpose of the Disparity and Availability Study?
The purpose of this Study is to evaluate the County’s current programs to promote equal opportunity in the County’s procurement program to aid in diversification of the County’ vendor database, and assure equitable distribution of the County’s purchases. in a manner that accurately reflects the diversity in the available vendor pool.
Why has the County decided to conduct a Disparity and Availability Study?
The four main reasons the County has decided to conduct a Disparity Study are to accomplish the following:
- Identify the best practices that will help the County build a business program to stimulate local business economic growth and development
- Assure equitable participation of local, minority and women owned businesses in the County’ contracts and purchase orders
- Promote a sound fiduciary relationship with local businesses
- Reinforce social responsibility toward the local business community
How does the County benefit from this study?
There are many benefits of a Disparity and Availability Study. The three principal benefits for the County are the following:
- Utilize best practices to improve the procurement process
- Increase the number of bidders for the County’s contracts
- Lower procurement costs for the County
What guidelines exist to help direct the Disparity and Availability Study?
The Disparity Study will be guided by current case law.
How will the County identify businesses that are available?
The County desires to contract with a consultant who will conduct a broad-based, community outreach program and a search of the County’s contract records and trade and professional association lists to help identify businesses that are available.
What industries are being studied?
The Disparity and Availability Study includes an analysis and evaluation of current contracting practices within the industries identified by the North American Industrial Classifications System and the National Institute of Governmental Purchasers (NIGP) included in the areas of Goods and Services, Construction Services, and Professional Services.
Who is conducting the Disparity and Availability Study?
An RFP was issued January 23, 2019. All proposals are due March 8th. The consultant is expected to be hired no later than June 2019. The selected consultant will review the County contract records, identify market area businesses, interview County officials and business owners, and participate in the Business Community meetings.
How long will the Disparity and Availability Study take?
The study is estimated to be completed within nine (9) to twelve (12) months.
How can local business owners get involved?
Once a consultant is hired, local business owners can get involved in many ways, such as the following:
- Take action by completing a business survey posted on the county website: www.bexar.org/smwbe
- Participate in a telephone interview to share their experiences
- Provide membership lists from local business associations
Who should be contacted by business owners seeking additional information?
For more information, contact the Bexar County Small Business & Entrepreneurship Department at (210) 335-2478 or send an e-mail message to SMWBE@bexar.org. Your information will be provided to the selected consultant.