Delaware County Disparity Study 2023 

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Delaware County Disparity Study FAQs


What is a disparity study?

A disparity study is a comprehensive examination of contracting and procurement practices conducted by a government entity or organization to assess whether there are disparities or inequalities in utilizing minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the contracting process. The Study aims to determine whether these businesses face barriers or disadvantages when competing for government contracts and procurement opportunities.

What is the purpose of a disparity study?

A disparity study aims to examine and evaluate the extent to which minority-owned and women-owned businesses face disparities or inequities in accessing government contracts and procurement opportunities. The Study seeks to accomplish several objectives:

  • Identifying Disparities: The Study seeks to determine whether significant disparities exist in the utilization and participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in government contracting. It analyzes data and evidence to establish whether these businesses have equal access to procurement opportunities.

  • Assessing Barriers: A disparity study helps identify barriers or challenges faced by minority-owned and women-owned businesses when attempting to compete for contracts. These barriers could include discriminatory practices, lack of information or resources, limited networking opportunities, or systemic biases in the procurement process.

  • Understanding Causes: The Study aims to explore the underlying causes of disparities. Analyzing data, conducting surveys, and engaging with stakeholders seek to determine why the differences exist and what factors contribute to them. This understanding is crucial for developing effective strategies to address the disparities.

  • Informing Policy Decisions: Disparity studies provide policymakers and government entities with data-driven insights and recommendations. The findings help shape policies, procedures, and programs to promote equal opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses. These may include implementing affirmative action measures, setting goals and targets, offering training and technical assistance, or revising procurement policies to eliminate discriminatory practices.

  • Promoting Equity and Inclusion: The overarching goal of a disparity study is to promote fairness, equity, and inclusivity in government contracting. By identifying and addressing disparities, the Study seeks to level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for all businesses, regardless of race or gender. This fosters a more diverse and competitive business environment, stimulates economic growth, and enhances the overall well-being of marginalized communities.

When will the disparity study be completed?

August 2024

How can local business owners and community stakeholders get involved and stay informed?

The participation of stakeholders and business owners is crucial to the Disparity Study's success. The project team will conduct stakeholder meetings, conduct business owner interviews, send surveys, and hold focus groups throughout the Study to gather information; local business owners and stakeholders are encouraged to attend.
The business owner meetings and focus groups will allow the project team to document anecdotal testimony from firms and/or individuals that have done business or are interested in doing business directly with the County or indirectly through its prime contractors/lead professional consultants.

You can also share your insights about working in the local marketplace by emailing the project team directly at Data collected throughout the Study will be considered and incorporated into the final report.

What types of contracts are being reviewed?

The Study will focus on procurement categories of goods, professional and general services, and construction from
July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2022.

Will the results of the disparity study be made public?

Yes, the results of the disparity study will be made public at the end of the process.

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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