Disparity Study

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion released a study that measured disparity in city prime contracts and subcontracts between 2012 and 2015. The study was conducted by Mason Tillman, a consulting company that has completed more than 140 such studies for other cities. This is the first disparity study for the City of Columbus since 1992. A disparity study examines whether there are differences between:

  • The percentage of dollars that minority and women-owned businesses received on an agency’s prime contracts and subcontracts during a particular time period (utilization); and 
  • The percentage of dollars that those businesses would be expected to receive based on their availability to perform on the agency’s prime contracts and subcontracts (availability). 

“The City has made solid strides in working to ensure all city contracts are fairly bid and accessible to all qualified businesses, but we still have some work to do,” said Mayor Ginther. “The disparity study is a guide for a sustainable policy change that will help us reach our ultimate goal of greater inclusion.”

The study found that statistically significant disparities exist for African-American businesses, Asian American businesses, Hispanic American businesses and Native American businesses in prime contracts. The study also reported underutilization of women-owned businesses on contracts over $100,000. In addition, the study showed disparities for African-American, Asian American and women-owned businesses for subcontracts. 

Director Damita Brown

“The completion of the disparity study serves as a first step in helping us to evaluate where we’ve been with respect to our engagement of minority- and women-owned companies,” said Interim Director Damita Brown. “More importantly, it serves as a blueprint for us in advancing policies, programs, and services that uplift MWBE companies; transforming the lives of our residents, neighborhoods, and growing local economy.”

Over the next six to nine months, the city, with input and feedback from the community, will determine which recommendations from the report will make the greatest impact towards making Columbus American’s Equal Opportunity City. Revisions to municipal procurement code are expected. Two community stakeholder meetings have been scheduled for August 5, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  The locations have yet to be determined.  
Representatives from Mason Tillman and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be available to answer questions.

Executive Summary
Full Report

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