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Related Topics

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:

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

PTAC provides no-cost technical assistance to businesses on how to succeed in selling to the State and other governments.
Find your local advisor: https://washingtonptac.org/contact-wa-ptac/.

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

The state is committed to dismantling barriers to inclusion and equity in its procurement practices.

A statewide Disparity Study calls for changes to state procurement practices and policies so they will not perpetuate systemic disparities.

Review the disparity study recommendations that DES is working on.

Screenshot of Disparity Study Results Report

DES Business Diversity programs and initiatives

  • DES oversees goods and services procurement policy on behalf of the state. Policy initiatives include raising Direct Buy limits (complete) and working to develop a supplier diversity policy that will require agencies to align their procurement practices for goods and services with recommendations from both the study and the Governor’s Subcabinet on Business Diversity.
  • The DES Business Diversity Advisory Group has been advising the agency on issues related to goods and services contracting since May 2018.
  • The Procurement, Inclusion and Equity (PIE) program was established in 2019 to create a sustainable increase in the purchase of goods and services from small, diverse, and veteran businesses. Initiatives include implementing the disparity study recommendations. Review the information on PIE initiatives.
  • DES Public Works Business Diversity Program was established to improve inclusion in Engineering and Architectural as well as Public Works contracts and subcontracts. Examples of initiatives include inclusion plans and improving data systems for better tracking and accountability. Learn more about Public Works Diversity Program initiatives.

DES state role

DES manages two types of contracts -- goods and services and public works.

Goods and services - DES is the state's lead procurement agency, working within three key roles to support business diversity:

  • Overseeing statewide procurement policy with related training and support.
  • Delegating purchasing authority to more than 100 agencies based on a risk assessment that includes looking at compliance with required training, procurement policies and laws.
  • DES procures and manages about 200 statewide goods and services contracts with approximately $1.3 billion in annual spending from more than 1,400 businesses. These contracts are used by other agencies and local governments. View planned procurements.
  • DES agency contracts and procurements that support operations. There is about $100 million in spending each year in this area by DES. Learn about opportunities.

Public Works – DES works within three key roles to support business diversity:

  • Largest authorization for state Job Order Contracts at $6 million per year.
  • Awards and manages 400 design and construction projects annually worth more than $290 million.
  • Oversees contracts for public works construction for more than 55 client agencies, with the majority inclusion efforts coordinated through the efforts of DES.

Subcabinet

DES is a key contributor to the state Subcabinet on Business Diversity that is working to support agencies in implementing disparity study recommendations, such as with the Tools for Equity in Public Spending.

See the DES Business Diversity Roadmap. It is designed to connect to an overall state roadmap being developed by OMWBE, the Subcabinet lead agency. DES served as the lead agency for the 2019 Disparity Study.