Arlington Increases Goals for MWBE Participation in City Contracts

Articles MWBE Policy 05-12-16

The City of Arlington continues striving to increase opportunities for disadvantaged, minority and women-owned business enterprises, known collectively as MWBE, to be awarded contracts for goods, services, construction and professional services.

The Local and Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise Policy, adopted in 2013, originally set a 20 percent aspirational goal for all City procurement contracts to be awarded to MWBE businesses. The Arlington City Council voted this month to update the policy, increasing the good-faith effort goal to 25 percent and placing more emphasis on contractors providing the City information about whether subcontractors are MWBE certified.

“The biggest reason for having this policy is really a business decision. It increases the pool of competitive firms, which helps lower the costs for the City,” MWBE Coordinator Reginald Cleveland said.

Since participating in a 2008-2010 Disparity Study, the City of Arlington has been systematically changing processes designed to increase notifications and awards to local and minority vendors. Changes include creating a Supplier Database, which provides a list of local and MWBE businesses to City Departments or businesses who are seeking prime and subcontracting opportunities. The City also hired a dedicated MWBE specialist to identify, attract and grow a larger pool of qualified local providers of goods and services.

Arlington has previously encouraged contractors to hire MWBE subcontractors but will now begin requesting payment records to track whether the City’s good-faith effort goals are being met.

Learn more about becoming a certified minority or woman-owned or disadvantaged business.

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