Cambridge City
MA

Policy Order
POR 2021 #15
Order Adopted
Feb 3, 2021 5:30 PM

Spending Disparity Study PO

Information

Department:City Clerk's Office, AMSponsors:Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon, Councillor Marc C. McGovern, Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Councillor Patricia Nolan
Category:Policy Order

Attachments

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Body

WHEREAS:

During the November 19th, 2020 Economic Development and University Relations Committee meeting, committee members discussed the possibility of conducting a spending disparity study on City purchasing; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

A spending disparity study would determine if disparities exist in City purchasing for businesses owned by minorities, women, and other historically disadvantaged groups; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

While the Purchasing Department recently began the process of creating a system to track how much spending is done with minority and women-owned businesses, this data was not previously captured, and a spending disparity study would provide clear, quantitative proof of any potential disparities occurring in City purchasing, enabling us to address any disparities in a data-driven way; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Boston is currently conducting its own spending disparity study, which has uncovered that of the $664 million spent on contracts in 2018, just 1% went to minority and women-owned businesses; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Several other municipalities across the United States, including San Diego, Houston, and Chicago, have completed or will complete spending disparity studies as well; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The Supplier Diversity Office, which is a part of the Commonwealth’s Operational Services Division, could serve as a valuable partner in conducting this spending disparity study, as it offers municipalities support with data analytics assistance, determining how much money is spent with diverse businesses, and how their spending with diverse businesses compares to other municipalities; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

With a total budget of over $1 billion for Fiscal Year 2021, the City infuses a substantial amount of money into our local economy, and to truly achieve economic equity and close racial and gendered wealth gaps, we must ensure historically disadvantaged businesses are not being systemically prevented from accessing those funds; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Promoting equity in City purchasing is not a new concern, as the City Council adopted a policy order on October 29th, 2018, asking the City Manager and City staff to review the City’s bidding process to improve access, outreach, and clarity for local businesses, many of whom are MWBEs, seeking to contract with the City, and conducting a spending disparity study could help guide those improvement efforts; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate our local small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, it is crucial and timely that we uncover and address any roadblocks that diverse businesses may encounter in contracting with the City; now therefore be it

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Purchasing Department, the Supplier Diversity Office, and other relevant City departments to conduct a spending disparity study on City purchasing with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, disabled persons, LGBTQ+ individuals, and other historically disadvantaged groups; and be it further

 

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Manager report back to the City Council on this matter in a timely fashion.

 

Meeting History

Feb 3, 2021 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:ORDER ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Timothy J. Toomey, Quinton Zondervan