City Agencies: Doing a Bit Better on Minority Contracting

City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, who has urged city agencies to do a better job of contracting with minority- and women-owned business owners (M/WBEs), on Nov. 16 reported that there has been some progress.

In releasing his fourth annual “Making the Grade” report, Stringer said more agencies were awarded an “A” or “B” grade than ever before. However, the city’s overall grade remains a D+ for the third year in a row.

Stringer pointed to some “promising signs.” For one thing, in fiscal year 2017, actual spending with M/WBE firms rose to $554 million, a $208 million increase since fiscal year 2014.

Moreover, 22 percent of the 5,259 certified M/WBEs received city dollars, compared to 18 percent in the first year of Stringer’s report. The number of M/WBE companies receiving city contracts – 1,113 in total – has reached an all-time high.

And Stringer commended three agencies in particular, the Commission on Human Rights, the Department for the Aging, and the Department of Small Businesses Services, for receiving A grades – a great improvement over the  “C”, “D”, and “D” grades they received respectively in fiscal year 2014. However, this year’s Making the Grade report notes that these three agencies together spent about one percent of the total city dollars graded in the report – while the 13 agencies that received either a “D” or “F” grade account for 89 percent of city spending.

For more details on individual agencies, and to read Stringer’s recommendations for how to further improve contracting with M/WBE firms, download the report here.

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