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Small and Diverse Businesses

Businesses that register in the Washington Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) can identify themselves as seeking subcontracting opportunities and share contact information as well as their status as a small, minority-, women- and/or veteran-owned businesses.

This information is displayed in the system's commodity code reports in the "status" column on the right:

Contact Information

Goods & Services - Agencies: shana.barehand@des.wa.gov

Goods & Services Businesses: erin.lopez@des.wa.gov

Public Works: Charles.wilson@des.wa.gov

Improving economic opportunities for small and diverse businesses is a priority for the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) and the state of Washington.

There are many opportunities for businesses who want to work with the state. DES awards more than $1.5 billion in contracts annually. The agency has procurement and contracting opportunities in two main areas: Goods & Services and Public Works.

Goods and Services

As the state's lead procurement agency, it's crucial to establish enterprise policies that support the procurement of goods and services from small and diverse businesses and to serve as a model and resource for other agencies. This includes guidance, training and support tools.

State law RCW 39.26.090(5) allows DES to delegate authority to more than 100 agencies to purchase goods and services. Delegation of authority decisions are based on a risk assessment process. Items that DES looks at in the risk assessment include compliance with required training as well as procurement policies and laws.

Master Contracts: DES develops and manages statewide master contracts with more than 1,500 private vendors who provide more than $1 billion in goods and services yearly. Master contracts are used by state agencies and available to local government agencies or entities, education institutions, tribal governments, and public benefit non-profit organizations.

DES agency purchases: DES purchases goods and services for our own agency worth more than $90 million annually.

Public works

DES oversees public works contracting for more than 55 state agencies, offices, technical and 2-year community colleges on average each year. Effective business diversity strategies, policies and practices for its public works contracts are essential. The majority of public works inclusion efforts for client agencies are coordinated through the efforts of DES. DES uses web-based software to track participation of small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned business. Learn more.

DES manages nearly 400 design and construction projects worth more than $290 million each year.

DES also has the largest authorization of Job Order Contracts (JOC), with six contracts per year over a three-year period, at the highest dollar value in the state ($6 million per year).

Subcabinet on Business Diversity

DES is a member of the state's Business Diversity Subcabinet and served as the lead agency for a statewide disparity study released in 2019. The study examined the level of disparity in the participation of minority, women- and veteran-owned businesses in state contracting, and provides recommendations to address disparities.

Work includes:

  • Revamping the statewide procurement policies for goods and services that DES is tasked with adopting and implementing.
  • Revising procedures, support and guidance associated with statewide master contracts and updating related data tracking systems.
  • Updating policies and procedures for the public works contracts the agency administers, including developing a Pilot Small Business Enterprise Target Market.
  • Reviewing contract sizes and scopes for both public works and goods and services contracts the agency administers for possible “unbundling” opportunities.
  • Adopting model policies developed by the Subcabinet Community of Practice for internal DES contracts.

DES Implementation of Disparity Study recommendations

A two page overview of how DES is working to implement disparity study recommendations.

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