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Commonwealth of Virginia Disparity Study

January 2021

Published by BBC Research & Consulting

This disparity study was conducted on contracts and procurements that the Commonwealth of Virginia awarded from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019 in the areas of construction, services, and goods. The study assessed whether woman and minority-owned (WAM) businesses face any barriers as part of the Commonwealth’s contracting processes, particularly for subcontractor plan contracts and no subcontractor plan contracts. Subcontract plans did not appear to improve outcomes for minority and women-owned businesses on Commonwealth contracts and procurements. Minority and women-owned businesses considered together exhibited substantial disparities on both subcontract plan contracts (disparity index of 40) and no subcontract plan contracts (disparity index of 46). Disparity analysis results indicated substantial disparities for all relevant racial/ethnic and gender groups on prime contracts that the Commonwealth awarded during the study period. Results from the disparity study indicated that there are many minority and women-owned businesses in Virginia but most of them have relatively low capacities for Commonwealth work. The Commonwealth should consider various technical assistance, business development, mentor-protégé, and joint venture programs to help businesses build the capacity required to compete for relatively large Commonwealth and HEI contracts and procurements.