Report to the Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion
- Inclusion of Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Businesses
- Financial Literacy Activities
- Diversity Policies and Practices of Regulated Entities
Inclusion of Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Businesses
The Procurement Function in the Board's Division of Financial Management continued to demonstrate a strong and positive commitment to the inclusion of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the Board's acquisition process. As outlined below, a comprehensive program strategy was implemented by setting forth specific actions to assist the Board in fostering relationships with these types of businesses. This strategy contains objectives and activities that are aligned with the provisions of section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and will help position the Board to continue to cultivate positive relationships with minority-owned and women-owned businesses. Key elements of the program strategy include
- establishing a supplier diversity policy that reaffirms the Board's commitment to equal opportunity in the acquisition process;
- developing an internal and external communication plan, including the design and dissemination of informational brochures and the creation of an external website where vendors can register their companies with the Board and obtain information on upcoming procurement opportunities;
- creating a vendor management system that allows Procurement to track the status of minority-owned and women-owned businesses throughout the acquisition process;
- conducting capacity-building workshops;
- reviewing subcontractor plans from prime contractors; and
- preparing quarterly reports for senior management that describe the status and results of the Supplier Diversity Program.
Through implementation of the program strategy and through networking with minority-owned and women-owned firms, Procurement has made significant progress in fostering success for those firms seeking to do business with the Board.
The accomplishments of the Supplier Diversity Program complement the Board's long-standing commitment to support the inclusion of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the procurement process. During 2013, the Board increased the number of contracts awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses. This was due in part to an increased focus on providing technical training, enhancing outreach activities, and holding meetings with senior leaders and division representatives to discuss their role and responsibility in implementing Dodd-Frank Act requirements related to supplier diversity. The Board awarded 1,362 contracts in 2013; figure 1 shows the distribution of those contracts among minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, minority women-owned businesses, and other businesses. The Board awarded contracts for goods and services in the amount of $158,196,516.2 Of this total, $20,997,715, or 13.3 percent, was awarded to minority-owned or women-owned businesses. This represents a 54.9 percent increase in the dollar value of contracts awarded to minorities and women in 2012.Table 5 summarizes the Board's contract awards for the period 2011-2013.
Table 5. Contract awards for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, 2011 through 2013
|2013 1||2012 2||2011 3|
|Minority-owned businesses 4||$6,806,841||4.3||$3,726,415||2.6||$9,028,526||7.2|
|Minority women-owned businesses||$2,670,032||1.7||$1,685,031||1.2||$2,148,583||1.7|
1. Total contracts awarded in 2013 were $158,196,516. Return to table
2. Total contracts awarded in 2012 were $141,168,580. Return to table
3. Total contracts awarded in 2011 were $125,070,569. Return to table
4. Does not include contracts with minority women-owned businesses. Return to table
The Procurement Function implemented an effective outreach program to minority-owned and women-owned businesses. As part of these efforts, Procurement participated in events hosted by a wide array of organizations that promote the growth and development of minority-owned and women-owned businesses. A listing of these outreach events is shown in table 6.
Table 6. Supplier diversity outreach activities, 2013
|National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference|
|Alliance Mid-Atlantic Small Business Procurement Fair|
|National Reservation Economic Summit for Native American Businesses|
|WBENC 2013 Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises|
|U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Conference|
|Women-Owned Small Business National Council Contracting Summit|
|Federal Reserve Board's Annual Vendor Fair|
|Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC) Business Exposition|
|Annual Government Procurement Conference|
|US Pan Asian CelebrASIAN|
|National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Conference|
|U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce Conference|
|American Small Business Chamber of Commerce|
|U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.|
|Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference|
The Board hosted its annual vendor outreach fair in May. The fair, which allows vendors to interact with the procurement staff and Board technical representatives, was an overwhelming success. More than 400 companies, along with the U.S. Small Business Administration, other federal financial regulatory agencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and 87 Board staff members participated in the event. Vendors were given the opportunity to learn about the Board's purchasing needs, to attend a seminar on "How to Do Business with the Board," and to discuss their business capabilities with Board representatives and staff from other agencies.Figure 2 shows a breakdown of companies participating in the fair.
Figure 2. Participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses at the Board's annual vendor fair, 2013
Providing Technical Assistance
A significant amount of time and effort was devoted to supplier development. Procurement provided guidance to interested vendors to help them be more competitive in the procurement process. Technical assistance included discussing how to do business with the Board, providing information on upcoming contracting opportunities, monitoring the period of performance during the life of the contract, and preparing post-contract award debriefs. Debriefs include the following information:
- an evaluation of significant weaknesses or deficiencies in the offeror's proposal;
- the overall cost or price and technical rating, if applicable, of the successful offeror and the debriefed offeror;
- past performance information on the debriefed offeror;
- the overall ranking of all offerors; and
- a summary of the rationale for the award to assist the offeror in preparing more comprehensive proposals for future acquisitions.
Internal Training and Automation Support
During 2013, Procurement enhanced the Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) training to include discussions of Dodd-Frank Act requirements, the COTR's responsibility in supporting supplier diversity initiatives, and the competitive advantages of the inclusion of minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
Procurement also implemented a system to track the status of vendors throughout the acquisition process. This system allows the Board's staff to identify where barriers may exist within the acquisition process, and helps staff develop targeted technical training for vendors. Other automation initiatives included
- implementing a business intelligence reporting tool that provides trend analyses and dashboards to assist Procurement and Board divisions in evaluating their procurement activity;
- developing a web-based tutorial video, "How to Do Business with the Board," which will be located on the Board's public website when completed; and
- creating a link to expiring contracts on the Board's public website.
Among the challenges faced by the Procurement Function in 2013 is the issue of vendors' self-designation of their status as a minority-owned or women-owned business. The Board currently accepts vendors' self-designation, which may result in inaccurate data classification. To address this issue, the Board plans to meet with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) to validate their certification procedures so that their certifications can be used during the Board's vetting process. This will help validate vendors' status more efficiently during the acquisition process.
In addition, Procurement continues to recognize the need to increase Board staff awareness and understanding of Dodd-Frank Act requirements as they relate to supplier diversity. Procurement and ODI have implemented a strategy to raise awareness within the agency that includes educating and training staff on the importance of supplier diversity, holding regular meetings with senior leadership to discuss the Supplier Diversity Program and garner their support, and engaging division leadership to work as champions by supporting the inclusion of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in their contracting opportunities.
Finally, Procurement is working to revise existing acquisition policies and procedures that have become outdated and do not reflect the objectives of the Supplier Diversity Policy approved in 2013. Acquisition policies and procedures are being revised to reflect the commitment and objectives of the Supplier Diversity Program.
2. This report describes the contracts awarded by the Board for the period January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013. The dollar amount shown represents the estimated value of the contracts rather than the actual amount spent. Return to text