What is a Disparity Study?
Disparity studies are a means of providing a factual basis for determining whether there are equal opportunities for all firms in the procurement process and support the need, if any, for race or gender conscious, remedial procurement programs. The Metro Nashville Government 2018 Disparity Study will engage in a review of Metro Nashville’s procurement process and analyze participation in City contracts by its vendors, including Minority (“MBE”) and Women Business Enterprises (“WBE”, collectively “MWBE”) to analyze whether there is equal access to government contracts for all business owners. This Study will cover contracts awarded between FY 2013 and FY 2017 (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2017). If the actual participation of firms is less than what is expected based on firms that are ready, willing, and able to perform on City contracts (“Availability”), then a “disparity” exists. The Study will also determine whether the disparity is statistically significant enough to suggest any action should be taken and whether factors other than race or gender are likely to have caused the disparity.
What is the Study Process?
The disparity study process is broken out into several major parts, including statistical and econometric analysis, legal and purchasing practices analysis, anecdotal evidence analysis, and findings and recommendations. GSPC is currently collecting data from the City that will be necessary to determine utilization of firms in the marketplace. Our Senior Economist, Dr. Gregory N. Price, will work with this data to determine, through regression analyses and an analysis of the private sector, whether identified disparities can be attributed to the race and/or gender status of firm owners.
Griffin & Strong, P.C., the prime consultant for this disparity study, will soon begin collecting anecdotal evidence for the disparity study. This is crucial to any recommendations we may make to the City as a result of our findings from the disparity study. Our anecdotal evidence includes the following:
- Survey of business owners across all work categories.
- Firms throughout the Metro Nashville Government marketplace will be contacted inviting them to complete the survey.
- In-depth anecdotal interviews with businesses in the area, selected randomly from a list of available vendors.
- Focus group of randomly selected business owners to share their experiences in doing business in and with Metro Nashville Government.
- Email and social media comments Informational meetings and public hearings open to the public. Check the website ‘Events’ for times and locations.
The legal analysis portion of the study consists of reviewing the relevant case law regarding disparity studies and program implementation. For purchasing practices analysis, the study team is conducting interviews with City procurement staff regarding their procurement process and the current procurement policies. Finally, GSPC will compile a final report taking into account all of the findings from the research above, and will provide recommendations to the City regarding their MWBE program and procurement processes.
Who is Griffin & Strong P.C.?
GSPC is a law and public policy consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA, with extensive experience in disparity research, program development and supplier diversity initiatives. For more information, see: “Who We Are” or visit us at gspclaw.com
Why should I participate?
How do I participate?
GSPC will be conducting informational meetings and public hearings that are open to the public as well as a focus group in Nashville. We invite all, especially business owners, that are interested, to attend and share their experiences. We will also be posting information about the disparity study and all related events on this website and on our Twitter page, @GriffinStrong. Feel free to share your experiences with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MetroStudies or email us at MetroNashville@gspclaw.com.
State your experience as public record
GSPC will be conducting two open informational meetings, open public hearings and a focus group in Greensboro. We invite all, including non-business owners, that are interested, to attend and share their experiences. We will also be posting information about the disparity study and all related events on this website and on our Twitter page, @GriffinStrong. Feel free to share your experiences with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MetroStudies or email us at MetroNashville@gspclaw.com.
Tell us your story at your convenience
For those who may be generally uncomfortable providing their input in public arenas or who are unable to participate in any other way but, would like to share their experiences doing business in the City, GSPC welcomes comments and questions regarding the study via email as well. We may be contacted at MetroNashville@gspclaw.com.
When can we read the study?
The projected completion date for the entire study is February, 2018. Publication of the study results will be determined by the Metro Nashville Government and not by Griffin & Strong, P.C.