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The City of Wilmington has released a disparity study into its procurement procedures, with a particular eye on whether or not minority and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) were being underutilized relative to their availability in City contracts.
The study, which examined City contracting during the period of fiscal years 2016 through 2020, found statistically significant under-usage of several categories of MWBEs across various categories of industry, including construction, services, and goods and supplies. The findings of the survey will form part of the legal basis on which remedies for the underutilization can be proposed.
Recommendations made by the study include, but were not limited to: centralizing and dedicating resources to the tracking and monitoring of MWBE participation; instituting a number of business support services, such as bonding support and bid writing support; and doing more active outreach to MWBEs.
"The patterns of longer-term disparity presented in this report did not start with my Administration, but it is my goal to see them end before I leave office," said Mayor Mike Purzycki in a statement.
Read the press release from the City at https://www.wilmingtonde.gov/Home/Components/News/News/6320/225.
Find the disparity study at https://www.wilmingtonde.gov/government/office-of-the-mayor/disparity-study-2021.