- What is a Disparity Study?
- Why is a State Disparity Study needed?
- Who will conduct the Disparity Study?
- Will the Study be made public?
- What will it cost to fund the Study?
- How will the Study be financed?
Public-Private Partnership Initiative (PPPI)
- What is the PPPI?
- Why was the PPPI created?
- Who makes up the PPPI?
- What do we hope to accomplish through the PPPI?
- How can I become a PPPI partner?
Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO)
- Who we are
- What we do
- What is a MBE or WBE?
- What are the advantages of obtaining the State of Missouri M/WBE certification?
- How we grow Missouri businesses?
- What are our goals?
- Commonly used terms and abbreviations
What is a Disparity Study?
The purpose of a disparity study is to determine whether the State of Missouri still has a compelling interest in continuing a Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program. The study compares the actual number of minority and woman-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) that exist in the state against the actual number of M/WBEs being utilized in state government contracts. A disparity exists when there is underutilization of available M/ WBEs.
Why is a State Disparity Study needed?
The last State of Missouri (State) Disparity Study was commissioned in 1994 and completed in 1998. The State has not completed an updated disparity study since then; even though many states update their disparity studies every three to five years. An updated disparity study must be completed in order to establish the legal validity for maintaining an M/ WBE program.
Who will conduct the Disparity Study?
An independent, unbiased contractor will be identified by the State to conduct and perform the study.
Will the Study be made public?
The study results will be become public record. The study results will also provide the basis for future state policy and procurement decisions that rely on current information for determining M/WBE participation levels.
What will it cost to fund the Study?
The cost of a State Disparity Study has ranged from $1 million to $1.3 million based on a recent survey of studies commissioned by states of comparable size. It is estimated that the State of Missouri Disparity Study would cost between $1.5 million and $2.0 million due to the level and scope of the State’s centralized procurement and contracting authority. In addition, the state has not captured the data required for a disparity study since the last study, therefore expanding the scope and complexity of the project.
How will the Study be financed?
The State of Missouri’s Office of Equal Opportunity, a program within the Office of Administration, has embarked on a fundraising initiative to engage both public and private sectors in raising the necessary funds for the disparity study. The Public- Private Partnership Initiative (3PI), will focus on soliciting donations from various public and private entities such as Missouri’s M/WBEs, the general public, businesses and corporations, state agencies, quasi-government agencies and non-profit organizations who share an interest in combining resources to accomplish the governor’s objective of funding a disparity study.
What is the PPPI?
PPPI stands for “Public-Private Partnership Initiative” or “3PI”. The 3PI is a collaboration that includes entities from various public and private sector industries that share the common interest of raising funds for a State of Missouri Disparity Study.
Why was the PPPI created?
The 3PI was created in September 2011 to reach out to various public and private entities for partnering in support of the initiative of which the main objective is “Growing Missouri Businesses through Diversity.”
Who makes up the PPPI?
The 3PI consists of various public and private entities such as Missouri M/WBE’s, the general public, businesses/corporations, state agencies, quasi-government agencies and non-profit organizations who share an interest in combining their resources to accomplish OEO’s objectives.
What do we hope to accomplish through the PPPI?
The initial goal of the 3PI is to raise funds for a State of Missouri Disparity Study which will help us determine the level of underutilization of M/WBEs in state contracting opportunities. Through the 3PI’s efforts we hope to foster growth and opportunity as we focus on strengthening all businesses that support Missouri’s economy.
Who we are
The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) is a program within Missouri’s Office of Administration. Under current Executive Order 05-30, the OEO is responsible for promoting a diversified workforce within state government and assisting women and minorities in developing opportunities to contract with the state.
OEO serves as a resource for promoting diversity within the state workforce and improving the opportunities for women and minorities through the following primary functions: Certification of Minority-/Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE), Education and Outreach, and Notification of employment and contracting opportunities.
What we do
OEO performs site visits as part of the process of certifying eligible minority- and women-owned business enterprises. Once certified, these businesses are then included in OEO’s database which is accessible by any person in search of a certified M/WBE.
OEO also provides a vehicle through which entities offering opportunities can be matched with vendors and businesses interested in seizing those opportunities. OEO maintains relationships with numerous public, private and government entities statewide and, as a result, receives regular announcements of events, forums, employment and contracting opportunities. These announcements are posted on OEO’s website, which is updated weekly, for those in search of opportunities.
What is a MBE or WBE?
A Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) is a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons. A Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) is a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by a woman. The State of Missouri’s MBE program defines a minority as individuals who are Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian American and other similar minority groups as per Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 33 Section 33.750. Also included are Alaskan Natives, Pacific Islanders, and Aleuts.
What are the advantages of obtaining the State of Missouri M/WBE certification?
Certification as a MBE and/or WBE allows the entity/business to be considered in the selection process on state contracts that require participation by minority- and women-owned businesses. Entities that are not certified cannot be counted on contracts requiring a specified level of participation.
All certified M/WBE businesses appear on the Office of Equal Opportunity Directory of Certified M/WBE Vendors. Private contractors and state agencies use this site as a resource in soliciting certified minority and/or female participation for ongoing projects.
M/WBE certification is sufficient to qualify for all state agency contracts seeking a MBE or WBE designation. However, this certification is not sufficient, by itself, to qualify for Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) projects because MoDOT projects require a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification.
How we grow Missouri businesses?
In this dynamic environment, and particularly in an uncertain economy, no business can rely solely on one customer or one vendor. Every business needs a constant stream of customers as well as a diverse supply-chain of vendors in order to survive and be profitable. OEO provides another resource for vendors in search of new customers and for businesses in search of new vendors/suppliers.
In an effort to ensure that M/WBE businesses are informed and able to take advantage of contractual opportunities, OEO sponsors or co-sponsors activities ranging from regional workshops to orientation sessions for newly certified M/WBE vendors. In addition, OEO is constantly seeking proactive ways to foster the inclusion of M/WBE enterprises in contracting opportunities, including disseminating information to M/WBE entities about government and non-state government opportunities through its website.
What are our goals?
Our goal is to help strengthen Missouri businesses by increasing and/or improving the current levels of minority- and woman-owned business participation. The OEO’s M/WBE program is working under the authority of Executive Order 05-30, which outlines the goals of 10% MBE and 5% WBE participation in State of Missouri contracts.
Commonly used terms and abbreviations
Procurement – the process involving the initiation of a contract (by the State) to purchase goods and/or services and acceptance/agreement by a business enterprise to deliver the goods/services outlined in the contract
Certification – the process though which a third party (OEO) ensures an entity meets the qualifications to receive the designation of a Minority or Woman-owned business
DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in which the net worth of the business and/or principle business owners does not exceed certain net worth requirements, typically $750,000
MBE – Minority-owned Business Enterprise in which 51% or more of the business is owned, managed and/or controlled by a minority as identified in the Missouri statutes
WBE – Women-owned Business Enterprise in which 51% or more of the business is owned, managed and/or controlled by a woman
RFP– A “Request for a Proposal” is a formal request that typically:
- Is open to the public
- Lists detailed criteria and written specifications of the goods and/or services for which the State is seeking a vendor to provide a bid for
- Is an invitation to all capable vendors/bidders/offerors to provide a creative solution to this request
- Must go through a competitive bid and award process
- Involves the understanding that the contract will be “subjectively” awarded to the vendor that (1) meets all the requirements identified in the RFP and (2) has the lowest and best proposal
RFQ – A “Request for a Quote” is an informal request that typically:
- Is not open to the public
- Is an invitation to a select few vendors/bidders/offerors but does not involve flexibility or creativity by the offeror in the response
- Does not have to go through a competitive bid and award process
- Involves the understanding that the contract will be objectively awarded to the vendor that (a) meets all the requirements identified in the RFQ and (2) has the lowest and best proposal