Tampa tweaks order on subcontracting for women and minority businesses

05/03/07 Mitch E. Perry
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A year ago the City of Tampa received the results of A disparity study that concluded that a disproportionate amount of major city contracts went to white male-owned businesses.   However , it said that the City was doing fine in making sure that minority and women owned businesses were getting a piece of Sub-contracts.


In response to that, the Iorio administration has been working on crafting an Ordinance to deal with the results of that study.  That is expected to come later this month.  But today, the Mayor issued an Executive Order regarding subcontracts that will require that contractors report on how many women or minority owned businesses are hired, but will not mandate that they actually hire them.   

The Executive Order was introduced to the Tampa City Council by City Attorney David Smith.  (roll tape#1 o.q.”that they report”)

Smith said that the City will make certain that contractors are apprised of the availability of the women and minority owned businesses for jobs.  And likewise, those contractors will them inform the City what subcontractors who they have hired (roll tape#2 o.q.”subcontractors as well”)     


The Oakland, California based Mason Tillman Associates produced their disparity study last May.  After some questions were made about the accuracy of the data, the City says they finally had settled on all of the information last December.    


Quoting affirmative action law, Smith said that the Iorio administration did not want to craft an ordinance that specified quotas of any sort, in regards to sub-contracting(roll tape#3 o.q.”to achieve your purposes”) 


So instead of tailoring a race or gender based system, Smith said that because many minority and women owned businesses are already part of the City’s Small Business Enterprise Program, the City will now enhance outreach to make sure those  businesses now become aware of the program,  and help them compete for certain projects.


Among the ways the City will help them is that, if there are not at least 3 bidders on a project, that the city will give a 5% discount to Small Business Enterprise businesses on their bids.  Again, City attorney David Smith (roll tape#4 o.q.”and you are the low bidder”)


Greg Hart is the City ‘s Minority Business Development Manager.  He said the executive Order keeps in place initiatives to insure that minority and women owned businesses are still activiely sought    (roll tape#5 o.q.”to submit quotes”)


But after the lengthy presentation, City Councilmember Mary Mulhern reminded Administration officials that in fact, the original disparity study concluded that there were problems with prime contactors (roll tape#6 o.q.”contractor level”)

In fact, the study DID study did show a disparity with prime contractors and the issuance of the Executive Order is considered an interim measure to address the deficiencies until the mayor recommends an ordinance to the Tampa City Council.  The draft ordinance is expected to be submitted to Council later this month.


But City Attorney David Smith said that the original Executive Order regarding minority contracting is not being thrown out – just the provision regarding subcontractors.




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