Governor Lamont Announces Awarding of Disparity Study Contract
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont – in collaboration with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity (CHRO) and the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) – today announced that after a competitive bidding process, Griffin & Strong, P.C. has been awarded Contract #21PSX0035 to perform an independent disparity study relative to the State of Connecticut’s contracting practices and procedures.
The study is being done pursuant to Special Act No. 21-8, which was approved last year by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Lamont. Overall, the study will review state contracting practices and conduct a quantitative analysis to determine whether women and minority-owned businesses are underutilized in state contracting compared to the actual impact and role of small and minority businesses (SBE/MBEs) in Connecticut’s economy.
In order to make informed policy decisions about strengthening state contracting programs, the study will also examine whether there are any unintentional institutional, procedural or financial barriers to state contracting by SBE/MBEs.
For example, the Supplier Diversity Program, also known as the “Set-Aside Program,” assists Connecticut SBE/MBEs in identifying business development opportunities. DAS also supports state agencies in meeting their annual SBE/MBE Set-Aside goal of 25%. The disparity study will provide updated and relevant information to better inform this program and others like the Construction Prequalification Program.
“Ensuring equitable outcomes is paramount to my administration’s work, whether it be in education, workforce training, economic development, or access to assistance or contracting,” Governor Lamont said. “Equity in contracting is more important than ever as we work to recover from the pandemic and we see an influx of projects with the passage of the federal bipartisan infrastructure package. I look forward to the results of this study to help make future policy decisions that will ultimately open up doors for more businesses to work with the state and to make sure the contractors we work with are reflective of every corner of Connecticut.”
“After a national search, the CHRO is excited that Griffin & Strong will be conducting a long-needed disparity study,” CHRO Executive Director Tanya Hughes said. “The study will give the state the data it needs to ensure that Connecticut’s set-aside program provides equitable and fair opportunities for all Connecticut-based small and minority owned businesses that want to participate in state contracting.”
“A disparity study of this kind hasn’t been done in over 20 years and is long overdue,” DAS Commissioner Michelle Gilman said. “The Department of Administrative Services and the Lamont administration have supported the need for the study from day one, and we look forward to partnering with CHRO and Griffin & Strong to ensure we have the most effective supplier diversity program in the nation. I thank Governor Lamont for his leadership in this important matter, the legislators who worked with us, and our partners at CHRO.”
Initial meetings with Griffin & Strong will be held in the coming weeks, and a website with information about how S/MBEs and others can participate in the study will also be launched soon.