The Supplier Diversity Program (SDP) was reaffirmed on November 3, 2015 via  Executive Order 565 to promote equality in the state government contracting market by ensuring full participation of minority, women, veteran, service-disabled veteran, disability and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) owned businesses in all areas of state procurement by all Agencies.

How the Program Works

Every year, Commonwealth executive departments and other organizations participating in the SDP set spending goals, also referred to as benchmarks, for working with minority, women, veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.  While there are no spending benchmarks established yet for other types of diverse businesses, such as disability and LGBT-owned firms, departments are encouraged to include them in their procurement efforts.

Throughout the year, each department undertakes a wide range of efforts to meet those goals through:

  • Direct spending: by purchasing products and services directly from diverse businesses.  While diverse businesses do not receive preferential treatment in the bidding process, if awarded a contract, their certification often serves as a marketing tool as departments work to meet their spending benchmarks.
  • Indirect spending: by requiring all contractors for goods and services (for large procurements, i.e., greater than $150,000) to make a measurable financial commitment to doing business with one or more diverse businesses and to report on the outcome of that commitment.

The Supplier Diversity Program only applies to Commonwealth of Massachusetts contracts for goods and services with a total value over $150,000.  Only businesses certified by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) or SDO-recognized third-party certification organizations qualify for the program.

SDP staff provide information and tools to help Commonwealth departments succeed in meeting their benchmarks, develop training and networking opportunities for diverse businesses, assist prime contractors in identifying potential diverse partners, and publish an annual report documenting the program performance. 

If you have questions about the program, please contact:

Help Desk Email: sdp@state.ma.us

John Fitzpatrick Tel: 617-502-8851 john.b.fitzpatrick@state.ma.us