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Equal Opportunity Contracting

Disparity Study

speaker before a groupThe City of San Diego commissioned BBC Research & Consulting to conduct a Disparity Study to assess whether minority-, woman- and disabled veteran-owned businesses face any barriers as part of the City of San Diego’s contracting processes. Information from the study will help the City assess its efforts to encourage the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in local contracts and help inform any refinements that the City might make to its implementation of the City’s Equal Opportunity Contracting Program or state-level contracting policies. 

Study Analyses

The Disparity Study focused on construction; professional services; and goods and other services contracts and procurements that the City awarded between July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2019. The crux of the disparity study was to examine whether there are any disparities between:

  • The percentage of contract dollars that the City spent with minority- and woman-owned businesses during the study period (utilization); and
  • The percentage of contract dollars that minority-, woman- and disabled veteran-owned businesses might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of City contracts (availability).

The study also examined other qualitative and quantitative information related to:

  • Legal considerations surrounding the City’s implementation of the Equal Opportunity Contracting Program;
  • Marketplace conditions for minorities; women; and minority- and woman-owned businesses;
  • Contracting policies and business assistance programs that the City currently has in place; and
  • Program measures for the City to consider implementing to further encourage minority- and woman-owned business participation.

Study Schedule

BBC initiated the Disparity Study in January 2020 and completed the study at the end of January 2021 and a draft report was completed in February 2021. View the PDF iconStudy Schedule

A preliminary Disparity Study report was presented to the City Council's Budget and Government Efficiency Committee on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The agenda is posted here. Committee meetings are open to the public. Please note: In accordance with California Executive Order N-29-20 due to COVID-19, there were no members of the public participating in person at the City Council meetings. Alternatives were provided to in-person attendance for viewing and participating in the meetings. City Council meeting information.

Study Progress

The City will provide regular updates about BBC’s progress on the Disparity Study throughout its course. Please check back periodically for those updates.

Project Initiation

The City and BBC initiated the Disparity Study in January 2020 with a series of meetings with various City departments and representatives. BBC met with the City to introduce the study; answer questions, and begin the process of understanding contracting and vendor data that state agencies maintain.

Data Collection

BBC has begun working with City staff to collect data on contracts that the City awarded during the study period as well as information about the vendors that participated in those contracts.

Steps Undertaken

BBC engaged in the following tasks as part of the process in creating a Disparity Study:

  • Community meetings. The project team conducted four community meetings in the City of San Diego. During the community meetings, BBC presented information about the Disparity Study; answered questions; and solicited participants for any verbal or written testimony that they wanted to share regarding their experiences working in the local marketplace.
  • Data collection. The project team worked with the City to collect data on contracts that were awarded during the study period and the vendors that participated in those contracts.
  • Data analysis. The project team analyzed data that was collected from the City. BBC assessed the subindustries that account for most state contracting; the geographical area that is most relevant to city contracting; and the percentage of total contract dollars that minority-, woman- and disabled veteran-owned businesses received on City prime contracts and subcontracts during the study period.
  • Availability surveys. The project team conducted availability surveys with businesses in the relevant geographic market area that perform work that is relevant to state contracting.