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City Commission Moves to Increase Access, Equity and Diversity in Procurement Processes

1/28/2016
On Jan. 21, the Gainesville City Commission approved revisions to the General Government and Gainesville Regional Utilities Purchasing Policy. The changes are intended to increase the dollar amount of contracts between the city and small, minority and women-owned local businesses by 10 percent.

“By adopting the bold changes, the City Commission is taking action to increase access, equity and diversity for certified small businesses and establish a disabled veteran business enterprise program. These policy enhancements will make the make the City of Gainesville a model for promoting opportunities for all businesses at all levels of the procurement process,” says Torey Alston, the City of Gainesville’s new Equal Opportunity Director, who championed these changes since assuming his position three months ago.

Changes to the city procurement policy include:

  1. Creation of a Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program.
  2. Purchases more than $2,000 and less than $50,000 will require three written quotes and require one of the quotes to come from a certified small and/or service-disabled veteran business, if they exist.
  3. Procurement policy will include points at the competitive level (above $50,000) if you are a certified small and /or service-disabled veteran business (five percent of total points).
  4. Procurement policy will allow the city to provide affirmative procurement initiatives which will include sheltered market opportunities for small and service-disabled veteran businesses.

“This policy shows that the City of Gainesville is truly open for business and we will aggressively look for new opportunities as recommended by our Equal Opportunity Director, to increase business with local small and service-disabled veteran businesses which include minorities and women,” says Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy.

District I Commissioner Charles Goston says, “We are beginning a new focus on supporting small and service-disabled veteran businesses including black businesses. This will help change the perspective that there are no opportunities for minorities with the city and GRU and this will empower our procurement staff to truly reach out and find new businesses.”

For more information about revisions to the General Government and Gainesville Regional Utility Purchasing Policy, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at 352-334-5051.