Executive Order

Executive Order No. 599: Reaffirming Programs to Ensure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Diverse and Small Massachusetts Businesses in State Procurement and Contracting

Date: 06/24/2022
Issuer: Charlie Baker
Mass Register: No. 1473

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote and facilitate the fullest possible participation by all citizens in the affairs of the Commonwealth and to foster an inclusive marketplace that offers competitive opportunity for businesses as diverse as the people of the Commonwealth;

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth remains committed to leading the nation in diversity, equity and inclusion for all;

WHEREAS, there are approximately 600,000 small businesses in Massachusetts that employ approximately 1.5 million workers;

WHEREAS, the Executive Department has an obligation to lead by example and to support a culture of inclusion that values and promotes diversity and equal opportunity for all businesses;

WHEREAS, creating greater accountability and shared responsibility for achieving diversity and inclusion goals across all of the Executive Department agencies and offices will promote steady and sustainable progress;

WHEREAS, in response to prior Executive Orders, legislative requirements, and policy initiatives, and thanks to dedicated work by its employees, the Commonwealth has made progress in increasing the participation of small and diverse businesses in Executive Department contracting;

WHEREAS, convening stakeholders from the private and public sectors regularly to share best practices in procurement and contracting will lead to more effective strategies to improve supplier diversity;

WHEREAS, adding new small and diverse, certified business partners to the Commonwealth’s multi-billion dollar procurement network and supply chain will further the goal of achieving full participation by Massachusetts diverse and small businesses in all sectors of our economy;

WHEREAS, in 2020, I filed and the General Court approved “An Act to Elevate the Supplier Diversity Office to Ensure Equal Opportunity in State Contracting,” which established the Supplier Diversity Office as an independent agency operating within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance and formalized the Supplier Diversity Office’s authority for administering the Supplier Diversity Program, Small Business Purchasing Program and Individuals with Disabilities Program, among other responsibilities, all as now codified in sections 57 through 61 of chapter 7 of the General Laws;

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 Nos. 523 and 565 and order as follows:

Section 1. Applicability        

This Executive Order applies to all Executive Department agencies.

For purposes of this Executive Order, the term “Executive Department agencies” includes any executive office of the Commonwealth, as defined by section 2 of chapter 6A of the General Laws, and any agency, bureau, department, office, or division of the Commonwealth within or reporting to such an executive office of the Commonwealth.

Section 2. The Mission and Programs of the Supplier Diversity Office

In order to ensure consistent and measurable progress in expanding access and equity of opportunity in state contracting, the Supplier Diversity Office (“SDO”) within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance shall administer and oversee for all Executive Department agencies the following SDO programs, which shall be applicable to all procurements and purchases of goods and services by Executive Department agencies:

  1. The Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Program (“SDP”), which is charged with promoting equity of opportunity in the procurement and purchase of goods and services by Executive Department agencies for minority (“MBE”), women (“WBE”), veteran (“VBE”), service-disabled veteran (“SDVOBE”), disability (“DOBE”) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBTBE”) owned businesses, as defined in G. L. c. 7, § 58, and which is authorized to certify additional entities to permit their participation in SDP initiatives.  The SDO shall encourage the participation of such diverse entities in procurements and contracts for goods and services by establishing for each Executive Department agency annual spending benchmarks and by requiring that entities seeking to contract with Executive Department agencies include in any proposal to provide goods or services to such agencies a detailed SDP plan demonstrating measurable financial commitments to contract with one or more diverse entities when the contract in question exceeds a specified threshold value, as determined by the Operational Services Division.
  2. The Massachusetts Small Business Purchasing Program (“SBPP”), which is charged with promoting opportunities for small Massachusetts businesses, as defined by metrics established by the SDO.  The SDO shall set annual small business spending benchmarks for each Executive Department agency and shall develop policies that require that specific procurements and purchases of non-construction goods and services be targeted to eligible small businesses.
  3. The Individuals with Disabilities Program, which is charged with increasing the participation of individuals with disabilities in all areas of state procurement and contracting.  The SDO shall, every 2 years and in consultation with the Massachusetts Office on Disability, establish goals for participation of individuals with disabilities in all areas of state procurement contracting.
  4. The Diverse and Small Business Certification Program, which is charged with managing internal certification by the SDO and review of third-party certification of MBE, WBE, VBE, SDVOBE, DOBE and LGBTBE owned businesses and small Massachusetts businesses.  The SDO shall regularly engage in a robust review of third-party certifications in order to preserve integrity in certification, while prioritizing efficiency and serviceability for the business community.

The SDO shall be responsible for the administration and oversight of these programs across all Executive Department agencies.  The SDO shall devise methodologies to monitor the performance of these programs and to measure relevant expenditures made by each agency.  In collaboration with the Office of Access and Opportunity (“OAO”) established pursuant to Executive Order No. 559 and with the approval of the Secretary of Administration and Finance, the SDO may make changes to certification categories, benchmarks, and other program components included in the SDO programs where advisable to advance the mission of the SDO and the intent of this Executive Order.

In addition to directly administering the programs above, the SDO shall execute its statutory responsibilities to provide regular reporting on and guidance and support for the following additional Commonwealth diversity programs:

  • State Building Affirmative Marketing Program (“AMP”) – The SDO shall assist the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance in goal setting for this program and shall include the results of this program in its annual report.
  • State Assisted AMP (G. L. c. 7, § 61(n) - (s))The SDO shall manage this program in coordination with state funding agencies, including the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”), for state funded building projects.  The SDO shall assist in goal setting for this program, shall collaborate with funding agencies to implement joint compliance monitoring, and shall include the results of this program in its annual report.
  • MassDOT M/WBE Program – The SDO shall include the results of this program for Massachusetts Department of Transportation projects in its annual report.

Section 3. Additional Initiatives to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Government Contracting

The SDO is directed to collaborate with other public entities not subject to the requirements of this Order to support and encourage a wider adoption of the initiatives and programs managed by the SDO.  Toward that end, the SDO shall seek to advance improved opportunity for all categories of diverse and small businesses in all areas of public procurement, contracting, and other areas of public sector commerce.  Such efforts may include, without limitation, providing advice and support to other public entities in broadening access for diverse and small businesses in the areas of project funding, grant making, access to capital, and technical assistance programs, pilot programs, and the development of public-private partnerships.

Section 4. Secretariat and Agency Responsibilities

Executive Department Secretariats and agencies shall actively participate in all SDO programs and shall comply with all SDO regulations and requirements issued pursuant to G. L. c. 7, § 61 or this Order.

More particularly, all Executive Department Secretariats and agencies shall support the work of the SDO by:

  1. Appointing a Supplier Diversity Officer to serve as the primary staff member responsible for managing SDO program efforts and attending all Supplier Diversity Officer meetings, trainings, and networking events;
  2. Implementing all SDO programs in accordance with this Order and the regulations, policies, and guidelines issued by the SDO;
  3. Ensuring that all staff engaged in sourcing, contract management, contractor selection, procurements, and other business activities subject to SDO programs and requirements receive SDO-designated training;
  4. Developing procurement plans as required by the SDO and reporting to the SDO on actual spending;
  5. Cooperating with the SDO in efforts to expand outreach to diverse and small businesses as detailed in Section 5, including promoting agency contracting opportunities to diverse and small businesses; and
  6. Monitoring and enforcing contractor compliance with SDO programs and contractual obligations and cooperating with the SDO Compliance Unit to conduct joint compliance determinations.

Section 5. Expanded Outreach to Diverse and Small Businesses

The SDO shall assist agencies in maximizing outreach activities to promote agency procurements to diverse and small businesses in order to expand the number of such businesses capable of and active in bidding on state contracts for goods and services and construction and design.  The SDO shall assist diverse and small businesses in developing business partnerships with prime contractors in order to increase participation in procurements.  In support of these goals, the SDO shall develop a tool for agencies to provide information on upcoming contracting opportunities and to assist buyers, prime contractors, and diverse and small Massachusetts businesses in making connections and capitalizing on joint efforts to secure state contracts.

The SDO’s expanded outreach to diverse and small businesses shall include the following:

  1. Developing partnerships with organizations that will facilitate improved access to capital, technical assistance for bids, mentoring, capacity building programming, and trainings;
  2. Supporting private and public partnerships, in coordination with the OAO and the Executive Office for Housing and Economic Development, for the purpose of promoting and expanding opportunities for all certified entities to compete for business throughout the Commonwealth;
  3. Convening regular networking and matchmaking opportunities; and
  4. Providing foreign language translations for materials utilized in outreach efforts to diverse and small businesses.

Section 6. SDO Compliance Unit

The SDO shall maintain a Compliance Unit to ensure the integrity of all SDO programs and, where appropriate, to apply the remedies authorized in G. L. c. 7, § 61 for non-compliance.  The mission of the Compliance Unit shall include:

  1. Certification Compliance: monitoring, investigating, and taking appropriate corrective action against certified businesses that provide false or misleading information to obtain SDO certification.  Corrective actions may include decertification, the imposition of penalties, or other appropriate corrective measures.
  2. Contractor Compliance: providing guidance to Executive Department agencies in addressing contractors that do not achieve their contractual commitments, including the development and enforcement by the agency of corrective actions, which may include the suspension or termination of contracts or other appropriate corrective measures.  The SDO may also impose penalties on contractors for misreporting spending with diverse businesses.
  3. Agency Compliance: providing guidance and support to Executive Department agencies in meeting the applicable program benchmarks, acknowledging successful agencies, and holding unsuccessful agencies accountable, including possible referral to the Operational Services Division for suspension or limitation of the agency’s procurement delegation.

Section 7. Supplier Diversity Office Diverse and Small Business Advisory Board

The Executive Director of the SDO, in consultation with the OAO, shall appoint an SDO Diverse and Small Business Advisory Board (“Advisory Board”).  The Advisory Board shall consist of up to 15 members, one of whom shall be designated by the Executive Director of the SDO to serve as Chair.  The Advisory Board shall advise the SDO on the development of innovative and effective measures and programs that will advance the SDO’s mission of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in state contracting.  The Advisory Board shall also identify barriers faced by diverse and small businesses in the Commonwealth’s procurement and bidding process and recommend measures to eliminate such barriers.

Members shall reflect the demographic and geographic diversity of the Commonwealth and shall include individual business owners and representatives of organizations that reflect the categories of diverse and small businesses served by the SDO, including MBE, WBE, VBE, SDVOBE, DOBE, LGBTBE and small Massachusetts businesses that have been certified by the SDO.  Advisory Board members shall serve for two-year terms, except that in the initial appointments, one half shall be appointed to one-year terms, and one half shall be appointed to two-year terms.  Members may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. The Advisory Board shall meet on a regularly established schedule at the direction of the Chair and Executive Director of the SDO.

Section 8. Other Commonwealth Public Entities

Independent authorities, public institutions of higher education, elected officials, other constitutional offices, the legislature and judiciary are encouraged to adopt policies and programs consistent with this Executive Order, to take advantage of SDO trainings and other resources, and to submit the results from their efforts to make purchases from diverse and small businesses for publication in the SDO annual report and other SDO materials.

This Executive Order is effective immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 24th day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two and of the independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-five. 

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