Disparity is defined as lack of equality, an inequality, or a difference. MGT’s team of disparity research experts evaluate and examine contracting, procurement, and workforce inequalities to bring our clients answers and remedies that are legally sufficient, objective, fair, and provide a greater path to access, opportunity, and equality. Our team of experts has extensive experience with private/public procurement from several perspectives and have conducted hundreds of studies across the United States. In doing so, we have helped clients navigate the complexities and challenges involved in producing a legally defensible, accurate, and valid disparity assessment.
Disparity Study Research
A disparity study provides quantitative and qualitative research evidence, in accordance with current case law, to determine if there are disparities in the utilization of small- and minority-owned businesses in procurement and contracting, and to what extent, remedial programs to remedy disparate treatment are appropriate.
Our experts use a tested methodology which includes:
- Legal research and analysis
- Market area research and analysis
- Economic research and analysis
- Anecdotal research and analysis
- Race- and gender-neutral and race- and gender-based remedies
Availability studies solely focus on examining whether firms are available to contract with an agency. It is important to use valid resources which take into consideration key ready, willing, and able factors, such as utilization, location, capacity, services, interest in doing business with the agency, when examining the availability of businesses. MGT uses relevant data and assists our clients in identifying and analyzing firms which exhibit these key factors.
Minority, Women, Small, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Goal-Setting
At MGT, we help our clients establish their target goals by employing a methodology consistent with narrow tailoring requirements as presented in court rulings and applicable statutes and federal regulations. If disparity exist due to disparate treatment, MGT specializes in developing remedial goal models and goal-setting methodologies to address these disparities. MGT provides calculations, assumptions, and recommendations for goals that incorporate race and gender-neutral alternatives prior to or in conjunction with race- and gender-based goals.
Minority, Women, Small, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Evaluation and Review
Many clients already have a well-defined program in place but need to determine if, in fact, it is truly as effective as they believe. Our professionals bring a wide range of minority, women, small, disadvantaged business enterprise program knowledge and experience and inform our clients on current programs, best practices, as well as develop recommendations as to effectiveness and legal validity of an agency’s program. MGT provides innovative solutions that allow for improvement to not only the process, but also the best method for tracking and reporting to assess the impact of policies and programs.
Minority, Women, Small, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Development and Implementation
MGT assists clients with developing and implementing program policies, communication plans, and ordinances for existing programs or as a result of factual evidence derived from a recent disparity study. Our team of experts has experience with a variety of municipalities, transportation agencies, airports, and special districts and are highly skilled in developing strategies and programs to increase access and opportunity. We also provide our clients with customized program implementation training in areas of data gathering and tracking, reporting, and outreach efforts, which are key to the success of any minority, women, small, disadvantaged business enterprise program.
Local Hiring Studies
More agencies are including procurement and contracting policies that evaluate firms based on their employment and hiring of local residents. Using national best practices, legal guidelines, and relevant data, we provide our clients with studies that allow agencies to examine the impact of their local hiring programs within their communities.
Alaska Department of Transportation
MGT was retained by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to conduct a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) study – availability and disparity. The purpose of the study was to determine the absence or presence of discrimination in federal aid contracting in Alaska as well as how that relates to implementing an affirmative action program in public contracting. Included in the study were a legal review, a review of policies and procedures, the assessment and collection of data, the determination of market area, utilization, availability and disparity analyses, private sector (non-goal) analyses, the collection of anecdotal information, recommendations, and a draft and final report.
MGT worked with the State to gather data of DBE spending in State contracting. MGT conducted a non-goal analysis of spending with DBE firms where there were no DBE goals. MGT determined there was factual predicate evidence to continue the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.
MGT proposed DBE goals for future utilization, expansion of the collection of bidder and subcontractor/subconsultant data. In addition, MGT recommended the establishment of aspirational subcontracting goals.
City and County of Denver, Colorado
MGT was retained by the City and County of Denver to conduct a Minority-, Women-, Disadvantaged-Owned Business Enterprise Disparity Study to provide current data on the Denver Small Business Opportunity programs, examine availability and utilization of Minority-, Women-, Disadvantaged-Owned Business Enterprises, and assess the impact of race- and gender-neutral remedial efforts.
The City and County of Denver also contracted MGT to conduct a Registered Apprenticeship Study to research the availability of Construction-related registered apprenticeships in the Denver Metro Area; to learn how Construction apprenticeships interface with City and County of Denver-funded projects; and to identify any current barriers for individuals to enter apprenticeships.
The Disparity Study analyzed Construction and Construction-related Professional Services, the procurement of Concession-related goods and services at Denver International Airport, and procurement of Services and Goods awarded by the Denver’s purchasing division. The study consisted of a legal review and analysis; review of contracting policies, procedures, and programs; analyses of the geographic market area, utilization, availability of qualified firms, and disparity; analyses of anecdotal evidence through telephone surveys, focus groups, individual interviews, and public hearings; and analyses of the presence of disparity in the private sector.
The Registered Apprenticeship Study included a review of available registered apprentices; an analysis of the utilization of apprentices on Denver projects; a collection of data on registered apprentice program sponsors; a survey of registered apprentice program sponsors; and gather information on programs promoting the utilization of registered apprentices by local governments similar in size to Denver.
The Availability and Disparity study presented evidence to support continuing Denver’s M/WBE program and extending the program to selected goods and services examined in the report. The disparity study further provided evidence to support the setting of annual aspiration goals by business category.
The Registered Apprenticeship Study provided fact-finding results on apprenticeship trends and practices, which included findings on registered apprenticeship availability, registered utilization on Denver projects, registered apprenticeship programs in Denver, survey results of registered apprenticeship program sponsors, and programs which promote registered apprenticeship utilization. Findings showed a growth in the number of registered apprentices in the Denver MSA, utilization was concentrated in electrical followed by plumbing and elevator constructors, and most of the apprenticeship programs are in Construction in general and nearly half in electrical in particular.
Portsmouth Public Schools, Virginia
MGT conducted a Procurement Disparity Study for Portsmouth Public Schools (PPS). The purpose of the study was to determine whether there was disparity between the number of minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) that are ready, willing, and able to provide contract services and the number of M/WBEs who are actually providing these same types of contract services with PPS. The study included a legal review; a review of policies and procedures; the assessment and collection of data, an analyses of market area, utilization, availability and disparity; anecdotal, regression, and private market analyses; a review of the effectiveness of race- and gender-neutral remedies, the identification of narrowly tailored race- and gender-based remedies, and the development of draft and final reports.
MGT reviewed the utilization of M/WBE firms in the contracting of PPS’s goods and services for prime and subcontracting. Qualitative data was gathered through surveys, hearings, and interviews.
MGT recommended the establishment of a Minority and Women Business Enterprise Program. Recommendations included the establishment of project specific goals, expanded outreach to M/WBE firms, include at least one M/WBE firm in the solicitation of small or informal purchases, and the establishment of Commercial Anti-discrimination rules. The results of the analyses assisted in aspirational goals.
State of Texas
The Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State of Texas contracted with MGT to provide a comprehensive review of the State’s utilization of Historically Underutilized Businesses (referred to as HUB) to determine whether the State could continue its Historically Underutilized Business program and to evaluate and provide recommendations for future program development.
This extensive research for this study included the examination of prime contractor and subcontractor utilization from 210 State agencies (148 State agencies, 52 universities, nine medical and health centers, and the Texas Department of Transportation); the review of availability data based on bids, bidders, prequalified firms, vendors, U.S. Census Bureau, business surveys, and Dunn & Bradstreet; the review of anecdotal evidence from public hearings, telephone survey of firms, focus groups, individual interviews with firms, a web survey, and policy interviews with Texas procurement; and the review of private sector disparities based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, local building permits data, survey responses, Reed Construction Data, and the National Survey of Small Business Finance.
The study results provided evidence to support the continuation of the Statewide HUB program due to statistical disparities in HUB utilization and private sector marketplace, as well as statistical disparities in firms’ earnings even after controlling for capacity-related factors.