News Release

Contact: Casper Hill, City of Minneapolis 612-673-2342

New web tool will help City close disparities in discretionary spending

The Spend Diversity Dashboard details opportunities to increase participation of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in City contracts

July 28, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) As part of the City of Minneapolis’ ongoing effort to increase participation of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in purchasing and contracting, the City has created the Spend Diversity Dashboard: an online tool that lets staff and the public see how individual City departments are doing when it comes to diversity spending and where significant improvements could be made. The dashboard is among the first of its kind nationally, and details an unprecedented level of data, establishing a baseline for the City to measure future progress.

The Spend Diversity Dashboard, accessible through the City Coordinator’s analytics webpage,  shows how the City spends its discretionary (or sourceable) monies. These funds are invoices and purchases made to for-profit businesses where City staff had the ability to select a vendor. This is the first time this amount of detail on the City’s discretionary spending has been made available, making it possible for City staff to become more intentional about how those funds are spent.

Along with showing how diverse discretionary spending has been for specific departments in the past few years, the dashboard highlights industries where diverse suppliers are known to exist. This data will allow City departments to focus on their biggest opportunities for growth in diverse spending

“There are a lot of minority-owned and women-owned businesses that would welcome the opportunity to do business with Minneapolis,” said Council Member John Quincy, who chairs the City Council’s Ways and Means Committee. “The Spend Diversity Dashboard will help our staff identify these businesses when they need to outsource work, offering more opportunities to underutilized diverse businesses.”

“This is not a small amount of money; the data in the dashboard represents more than $1 billion in discretionary spending over three years,” said Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden. “Our own research has shown that not enough of those funds go to diverse businesses, and we need to improve that moving forward.”

A 2010 disparity study, entitled “The State of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise: Evidence from Minneapolis,” found evidence of large, frequent and statistically significant disparities when it comes to City spending, with women-owned and minority-owned businesses underutilized. Using the dashboard, city staff can see where those disparities exist, particularly in industries where there are known to be diverse suppliers.

“Minneapolis is committed to ensuring inclusivity and equity in how we award City contracts,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “This dashboard will help us track our progress, and hold ourselves accountable. And along with the Target Market program, it’s also a tool businesses can use to better compete for these contracts.”

Launched in January, the Target Market Program is a race- and gender-neutral program that targets small businesses (and many of our women and minority owned firms fall into this small business category), and allows qualified small businesses in the 13-county metro area to compete alongside other similarly situated small businesses for City contracts up to $100,000. 

Both the dashboard and the Target Market Program were spearheaded by the City’s Supplier Diversity Workgroup, which has been working on several initiatives to more intentionally and actively pursue business with a more diverse pool of suppliers, including women- and minority-owned suppliers. A part of that work focuses on being able to measure and track the City’s data around spend diversity.

The Supply Diversity Dashboard data does not include spending where staff did not choose a vendor (such as utility, taxes and spending in other jurisdictions.) City spending with nonprofit organizations is also not included in the data because nonprofits are not owned. However, because the Heath Department, CPED and other City departments have a lot of discretionary spending with nonprofits, City staff is looking at ways to include nonprofit data in the future.

At this time, there’s no way to combine the City’s subcontracting data with the contracting data included in the dashboard. For that reason, the dashboard data only includes first-tier spending. Any supplier who subcontracts with a minority-owned or women-owned business will not be reflected in the data.



Published Jul 28, 2017



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