Connecticut state government spends well in excess of one billion dollars each year to purchase supplies, legal, medical and other professional services, and public works contracting services. Those who have contracts with the state to provide these services bear a special responsibility to assure that their employment and subcontracting procedures promote equal opportunity for all persons. Contract compliance laws were enacted as a means of providing equal employment opportunities for minorities and female workers and economic development and business growth opportunities for small contractors and minority and women owned businesses through the distribution of state contracting dollars.
The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has the responsibility to review, monitor and enforce the equal opportunity, affirmative action and contract compliance laws of the state as they apply to contractors (including subcontractors and suppliers to contractors) who do business with the state.
Contract Compliance Law in Connecticut
There are two key contract compliance laws in Connecticut; the contract compliance law and the small contractors set-aside program. They apply to state agencies and to political subdivisions of the state. Examples of political subdivisions of the state include regional transit districts, regional planning agencies, councils of governments and other such quasi public agencies, as well as all agencies of the state.
- The contract compliance law, enacted as Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 4a-60, and the administrative regulations issued pursuant thereto prohibit all those who contract with the state, including subcontractors, from engaging in or permitting discrimination in recruiting, hiring or other employment practices. The law further requires state agencies to aggressively solicit the participation of minority and women owned businesses in state contracts.
- The agencies covered by the law must report all their contracts valued in excess of $3,000 to CHRO and provide CHRO information necessary to assess their compliance with the law.
- There is a subset of the contract compliance law that pertains to construction related contracts. It places specific contract compliance responsibilities on public works contracts. These are agreements for construction, rehabilitation, conversion, extension, demolition or repair of a public building, highway or other changes or improvements in real property. Link to these statutes (beginning with section 46a-68b through 46a-68k) :
- The small contractors set-aside program requires each state agency and political subdivision of the state to set as an annual goal their intention to contract with certified small contractors at least 25% of their total projected annual expenditures. The law further requires that one quarter of this amount (or 6.25% of the total projected annual expenditures) be with certified minority businesses. Thus agencies may set aside contracts in whole or in part for bid only by eligible small and/or minority businesses. Link to small contractor program statute and link to small contractor program policy guidelines and goal setting procedures.
The Department of Administrative Services is responsible for certifying businesses as small and small minority owned businesses. Certification is for a two year period and is renewable. For more information about this process, or to download the forms necessary to be certified or re-certified, link to: DAS Certification
To review the list of certified small and minority businesses link to: