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Equal Business Opportunity Program Update

6/7/2019

Mayor David Briley is committed to ensuring equity in all Metro purchasing. On July 5, the new equal business opportunity program, more commonly known by the acronym EBO, will begin putting race and gender conscious goal on all Metro purchases.

The EBO program is the result of Metro Nashville's most recent disparity study, which set out 10-reccomendations regarding the purchasing process. The department of finance, via the division of purchases, is effectuating these improvements. Below is an update on all of these efforts:

Recommendation #1: Refine the Procurement Non-Discrimination Program: Complete

On January 4, Metro Council passed the EBO program to effectuate changes recommended by the disparity study and replace the PNP. The new ordinance includes race and gender conscious goals, application, triggers for investigation, and penalties for non-compliance.

Recommendation #2: Reconcile the Procurement Code: In Progress

Modifications to align the procurement code with the EBO have been drafted. They will be published for comment on June 10 and presented to the procurement standards board for approval at a special called meeting.

Recommendation #3: Institute M/WBE Goals: Complete

The EBO program (see recommendation #1) provides for both MWBE annual aspirational and MWBE individual contract goals, set by committee, using the most recent availability data.

Recommendation #4: Expand and Realign Diversity Goals on Private-Public Partnerships and Economic Development Projects: Ongoing

Mayor David Briley and the new director of community and economic development have committed to instituting availability based diversity goals on partnerships for economic development projects.

Recommendation #5: Improve Communications, Outreach, and Forecasting: Ongoing

The codification of the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer (CDEIO) position, as well as the delineated relationship between CDEIO and the chief procurement officer was accomplished by the EBO ordinance. An annual forecasting report is provided for in the EBO ordinance and will be issued at the start of fiscal 2020.

Recommendation #6: Build Robust Supportive Services: Ongoing

Partnerships have been established with local organizations to build a supportive ecosystem for small, minority, and women owned enterprises. Some examples of our new initiatives include, but are not limited to:

Contractors Round Table Partnership with local construction firms to identify issues and make connections to diverse subcontractors.

Small Chambers Partnership to establish a pipeline of certified enterprises in their demographic that are registered and ready to do business with Metro.

Nashville Community Education Partnership to offer our business development classes through the NCE platform to expand our reach. In spring of 2019, we have offered 7.5 hours of training to 125 individuals with another round of classes scheduled for the summer term.

Procurement Technical Assistance Corporation Partnership to execute an agreement regarding the forthcoming small business reserve program.

Recommendation #7: Provide Increased Resources and Training in Contract Compliance: In Progress

Additional staff will be necessary to accomplish the level of compliance required by the EBO. Positions have been approved, advertised, and interviews are set for the week of June 10 with the final hiring expected by the start of fiscal 2020 - pending passage of the proposed budget.Training has been developed regarding the EBO and multiple events are set for the final two (2) weeks of June 2019 with suppliers, departmental users, and the general public in various areas of the city.

Recommendation #8: Review Bonding and Insurance Requirements: Complete

Prior to the completion of the disparity study, the decision was made to modify bonding requirements to mirror the State of Tennessee. This had the effect of freeing up capacity for many small vendors and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback.The Business Assistance Office's (BAO) Collaboration for Excellence has a longstanding agreement with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer bonding and insurance assistance via referral.

Recommendation #9: Small Business Reserve Prime Program: In Progress

The specific parameters of this program are currently being drafted, while partnerships with outside institutions relative to operations are being explored.It is anticipated that regulations will be put forward in the fall of 2019, subsequent to the implementation of EBO which has a statutory timeline.

Recommendation #10: Reform Data Infrastructure: Ongoing

Metro Government is in the process of implementing the new R12 system. Simultaneously, the procurement resource group is developing and promulgating to department users protocol for various purchasing functions.New supplier diversity management software is in the process of implementation with an expected go-live date of July 5 to track with the EBO. This system will have a public facing, searchable directory of certified SMWDBE firms and be integrated with partner organizations across the country.