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Location Information

1500 Jefferson

Advisory Group Staff:

Background

Ensuring small and minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses have equal access to State procurement markets is a key priority for Enterprise Services and for Washington State.

Successful small businesses led by minorities, women and veterans help make our economy and families more resilient —creating jobs in our communities, reinvesting locally, and engaging local businesses in how we meet the needs of Washingtonians. Utilization of small and diverse businesses also is important to help drive innovation that benefits all Washingtonians.

Enterprise Services oversees state purchasing policy for goods and services, and manages statewide master contracts used by state agencies and local governments.

Enterprise Services has a major role in how the state moves forward to include small and diverse businesses in procurement processes. State agencies, higher education and local governmental entities (political subdivisions) all have procurement staff who rely on Enterprise Services for contracting services, guidance, consistent processes, leadership, and support.

Advisory Group

As Enterprise Services works on many changes to improve utilization of small and diverse businesses, we want such businesses to be part of the processes and let us know what is most important to them. The Enterprise Services Business Diversity Advisory Group (BDAG) is made up of small, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses as well as non-profits for the blind that serve in an advisory capacity to the agency's contracts and procurement division. Apply to be a part of the group.

The group:

  • Shares ideas with Enterprise Services on how we can better include small and diverse businesses.
  • Provides advice to key decision makers on how we might encourage more small and diverse businesses to participate in state contracting and procurement opportunities.
  • Learns about how Enterprise Services is utilizing suggestions to further small and diverse business inclusion.
  • Provides important guidance to help improve small and diverse business inclusion for master contracts, totaling over $1.7 billion in spending annually.

Business Diversity Advisory Group (BDAG) Member Requirements:

  • Be a Washington small business registered in Washington's Electronic Business Solution (WEBS), a non-profit for the blind and based in Washington, or a non-profit organization that supports these entities.
  • Provide goods or services that are purchased by Enterprise Services or under a master contract.
  • Actively trying to do business with Enterprise Services or currently doing business with the agency.
  • Have not been de-certified for reasons other than non-renewal/response or graduation.
  • Have not been debarred or suspended, have no labor violations, and have no ethics violations.
  • Provide community and work references.

Selection Process

Candidates serve one- to three-year terms and are selected using a transparent process overseen by the Enterprise Services Contracts Division. Each year, member applications are due no later than Nov. 30.

Enterprise Services seeks a balanced representation of geographic areas, race/ethnicity, gender, veteran status, experience in doing business with the state, small business size, sector and industry and other factors.

For more information, contact Erin Lopez at (360) 407-8010 or Erin.Lopez@des.wa.gov.

DES Implemented BDAG Recommendation Highlights

BDAG recommendations have led to improvements in procurement strategies, contract user agreements, pilot programs and transparency.

Area: Procurement strategies

Recommendation:

  • Breaking out scopes.
  • Expanding preference to consider industry and points for small, mini, micro, and veteran-owned businesses.

Outcomes:
Unbundling: DES added unbundling contracts and breaking out procurements by scope and region. This process continues to be refined and expanded as we learn how to improve this process. BDAG members are instrumental to this process.
Small and Veteran Business Preferences: DES piloted Washington Small and Veteran-Owned Business preferences in the fall of 2018. This work continues. In the fall of 2020 DES piloted designated awards for Washington small and/or veteran-owned businesses. 

Area: Master Contract User Agreement (MCUA) enhancement

Recommendation: Member shared that they spent time each month reconciling DES Implemented BDAG Recommendation Highlights the MCUA list (entities that sign on to use DES master contract) to identify new potential customers.
Outcome: Based on member feedback, the MCUA page now lists new members added in the last 3 months to the top of the page and distinguishes them with a different color font.

Area: Industry pilots

Recommendation: BDAG spoke to the importance of access to decision makers and providing more meaningful small business engagement to help businesses be more successful with state procurement.
Outcome: Industry pilot programs have been launched.

Area: Transparency

Recommendation: BDAG members regularly request information and share the value of what this information provides businesses. This helps inform decisions on what information to prioritize and publicly post.
Outcome: Examples of information now publicly posted:
Amazon spending data
Posting updated forecast lists with schedule details
Posting past solicitations and winning bids to the portal page

Meeting Information

2020 Meeting Schedule

Third Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. – noon
October meeting will be held in Spokane. There will not be a December meeting.
All meetings will be held via Zoom. Contact Erin.Lopez@des.wa.gov for the Zoom link.

Location:
1500 Jefferson Street SE, Room 2320
Olympia, WA 98504