Executive Order

Executive Order No. 559: Establishing the Office of Access and Opportunity with the Office of the Governor

Date: 02/18/2015
Issuer: Governor Charlie Baker
revoking: Executive Order No. 527

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth must lead in its commitment to non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all irrespective of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or socio-economic background;

WHEREAS, within state government barriers continue to impact equity in access to and opportunity in employment, procurement, and the provision of services;

WHEREAS, elevating the coordination of existing state entities, resources and activities will enhance the pursuit of new policy and practice to lift those barriers;

WHEREAS, building a high performance workforce requires creating a diverse workforce that utilizes the talents and experiences of all of its employees;

WHEREAS, efficiencies and the possibilities of new approaches resulting in best value for the Commonwealth occur when a diverse, competitive business community fully participates in state procurement and the provision of services; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth must develop goals and measurement tools as it recommits to and prioritizes its goal to foster non-discrimination and equal opportunity within state government for all persons.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby revoke Executive Order No. 527 and order as follows:

Section 1.  There is hereby established within the Office of the Governor an Office of Access and Opportunity (the “OAO”) to ensure the Governor’s ready access to the status of and advice on the work conducted by the OAO. 

Section 2.  The OAO will be led by the Deputy Chief, Access and Opportunity (the “Deputy Chief”), who shall be appointed by the Governor and directly report to the Governor’s Chief of Staff.  The Deputy Chief shall advise the Governor and his Cabinet and work to foster within state government non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all irrespective of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran’s status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or socio-economic background. 

Section 3.  There is hereby established a Steering Committee on Access and Opportunity (the “Steering Committee”) which the Deputy Chief will chair and convene regularly for advice on the state of access and opportunity across the executive branch and how best to achieve goals of the OAO.  The Steering Committee shall include: the Chief Human Resources Officer, Human Resources Division; Assistant Secretary, Operational Services Division; Executive Director of the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office; Director of Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity; Director of Massachusetts Office on Disability; Commissioner, Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance; Director, Compliance Unit, Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance; the Chief Operating Officer, Massachusetts Department of Transportation; Deputy Director, Office on Diversity and Civil Rights, Massachusetts Department of Transportation; Secretary of  Labor and Workforce Development or his designee; Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Services or his designee; and representative(s) designated by the Secretary of Education.

Section 4.  The Deputy Chief shall have the following responsibilities:

  1. To collaborate with and maximize relevant initiatives, work and potential of all existing executive branch agencies, offices and resources with the explicit goal of (a) increasing the total number of and dollar volume earned by MBEs, WBEs, and DBEs contracting with or doing business for the state, and (b) maintaining or increasing the number of minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities who are state employees;
  2. To develop with partnering agencies and offices, in consultation with the Steering Committee,
  1. an integrated body of policies and actions that reflect best practices and remove barriers to advance non-discrimination and equity in access to and opportunity in employment, procurement and the provision of services within state government;           
  1. ideas on how best to implement and incentivize compliance with such policies and procedures; and
  2. performance metrics focused on outcomes, such as increasing the total number of and dollar volume earned by MBEs, WBEs, DBEs contracting with or doing business for the state; and maintaining or increasing the number of minority, veterans and individuals with disabilities who are state employees;
  1. To convene meetings of key offices, individuals and external stakeholders as needed to accomplish specified objectives, resolve issues, and make and implement recommendations;
  2. To identify state laws and regulations that obstruct or frustrate the state’s ability to provide within its own operations equity in access and opportunity for all persons;  
  3. To serve as a liaison to pertinent commissions, councils, task forces and offices throughout state government as needed to accomplish and advance the OAO’s goals; and
  4. To develop for adoption administrative orders and bulletins to further the OAO’s goals, and prepare such other reports necessary to keep the Governor appropriately apprised of the work of the OAO.

Section 5.  All agencies subject to the Governor’s control shall provide assistance to the OAO by sharing information and expertise, as requested.

Section 6.  This Executive Order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 18th day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred thirty-nine.

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