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File #: 2805-2016    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 10/31/2016 In control: Small & Minority Business Development Committee
On agenda: 11/21/2016 Final action: 11/23/2016
Title: To authorize and direct the City Auditor to establish an Auditor's Certificate, on behalf of the Equal Business Opportunity Commission (to become the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on 1/1/2017), for the implementation of a disparity study; to authorize and direct the City Auditor to transfer $468,000.00 within the General Fund; to authorize the expenditure of $468,000.00 from the General Fund; and to declare an emergency ($468,000.00).
Attachments: 1. 2805-2016 AC-STUDY

BACKGROUND: The Equal Business Opportunity Commission Office (EBOCO) will make the transition to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), effective 1/1/2017. In anticipation of the new office and expanded programming, funding has been identified in 2016 to support the implementation of a disparity study, the results of which are paramount to ODI's mission of ensuring diversity and inclusion in the City of Columbus.

The disparity study will analyze city procurement operations to determine whether there is a disparity between the availability of minority, women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs) and the city's utilization of those businesses. The courts have made it clear that in order to implement a race- and gender-based program that is effective, enforceable, and legally defensible, the city must meet the judicial test of constitutional strict scrutiny to determine the legality of such initiatives. Strict scrutiny requires current strong evidence of the persistence of discrimination, and narrowly tailored measures to remedy that discrimination. The last disparity study was conducted over a decade ago and Columbus has seen a tremendous amount of growth since then. The findings of this study will guide and inform ODI's work to ensure fairness, equity, and inclusion in the city's procurement practices.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion received formal proposals on October 28, 2016 from firms interested in conducting the disparity study. Evaluation of those proposals is currently underway but may not be completed in time to legislate a vendor prior to expiration of the current year budget. Therefore, ODI is requesting to encumber the funds for the study at this time. An ordinance authorizing a contract for the disparity study will likely be presented to Council in early 2017 using these encumbered funds.

This ordinance is necessary to ensure the availability and authorize the expenditure of funds in order for the...

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