Panel approves legislation to monitor effectiveness of programs to help MWBEs

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Urban News Staff Reports

New legislation requires the Division of Purchase and Property in the Treasury Department to issue an annual report on public contracts awarded to businesses owned by women and minorities (MWBE's). The report, compiled by the Chief Diversity Officer, would be presented to the Governor and the Legislature.

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Republican Leader Tom Kean sponsored the legislation, which was approved this week by the State Government Committee, to track the performance of State programs to strengthen women- and minority-owned companies.

“How can we make decisions about public policy that impact the economy if we don’t have the numbers?” said Pennacchio. “This bill will help us calculate information so we can see the trends and understand which programs are effective, and which aren’t. Growing women- and minority-owned employers are crucial to a strong economy.”

Under the bill, the Division is required to operate and continue to develop the Selective Assistance Vendor Information (SAVI) database.

SAVI identifies businesses registered as minority and women owned businesses with the State that are eligible for mandated programs such as the NJ Small Business Set-Aside program, and aids in matching buyers and vendors for private contracting opportunities.

“The Legislature’s ongoing effort to support a strong and growing economy includes advancing measures to create opportunity for minorities,” said Kean. “The data is necessary to help evaluate the performance of these initiatives, and plan our path for the future. We want to help women and minority entrepreneurs compete and thrive in New Jersey.”

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