Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation increasing transparency and accountability around M/WBE contracting

On September 28, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law 6 pieces of legislation relating to M/WBEs– Intros. 923-A, 976-A, 981-B, 1005-A, 1019-A and 1020-A, in relation to increasing accountability and access for the city’s M/WBEs.

“These bills bring us one step closer to creating a level playing field for women- and minority-owned businesses and increasing both transparency and accountability around M/WBE contracting,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Minority- and women-owned businesses represent a fundamental proportion of small businesses in this city, yet have historically received fewer contracts than other small businesses. It is time to amend these differences and these accountability measures will do just that.”

“I would like to thank City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her leadership and Council Member Robert Cornegy, the Chair of the Committee on Small Business, for his continual support of these initiatives. I would also like to thank Council Member Laurie Cumbo for sponsoring Intros. 923-A and 981-B; Council Member Elisabeth Crawley for sponsoring Intro. 1005-A; Council Member Helen Rosenthal for sponsoring Intros. 1019-A and 1020-A; and Public Advocate Leticia James for sponsoring Intro. 976-A,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The City Council is proud to have ushered in legislation that will enable the City to better meet its objectives for increased government contracting with minority- and women-owned businesses,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “M/WBEs have been historically underrepresented across the board, and we are proud to have more inclusive standards signed into law. “

The first bill, Intro. 923-A, requires the Department of Small Business Services to submit an annual report regarding the satisfaction of M/WBE goals by recipients of economic development benefits. This report must include a list of all recipients of economic development benefits; the M/WBE goals for these recipients; whether the recipient tried to identify and utilize minority and women-owned businesses to achieve goals; and reasons why M/WBE contracting goals were not met if they failed to meet such goals, as well as other reporting requirements.

The second bill, Intro. 976-A, requires training for agency chief contracting officers and agency M/WBE officers. The division is required to conduct and create mandatory trainings for chief contracting officers, while the City is required to include on its website, which agencies’ M/WBE officer and if the agency’s staff have been trained.

The third bill, Intro. 981-B, establishes an M/WBE Advisory Board. The board’s responsibilities include: advising the Mayor on M/WBE issues and engagement, providing information on firms owned by minority and women group members, and educating stakeholders and constituents on M/WBEs. The Mayor will appoint the chair and at least 10 members of the Advisory Board. The chair is allowed to direct the board to gather and disseminate information as well as convene meetings in order to improve M/WBE issues.

The fourth bill, Intro. 1005-A, requires agency M/WBE utilization plans to be published online.

The fifth bill, Intro. 1019-A, amends reporting requirements related to M/WBE participation. This removes a requirement that such information be reported only for contracts for which an agency sets participation goals.

The sixth bill Intro. 1020-A, amends reporting requirements and agency goals related to participation of M/WBEs in procurements. This bill requires the annual M/WBE report to provide detailed explanations of the determinations made by the City Chief Procurement Officer with regards to whether to divide proposed contracts over $10 million into smaller contracts.