TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the commencement of the Disparity in State Procurement Study Commission. The Commission’s first meeting was held today in the State House Annex.
“New Jersey boasts one of the highest percentages of women- and minority-owned businesses in the country, yet many of these business owners report difficulties in establishing contracts and sales with the State of New Jersey and local governments,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am thrilled to see that the Commission has begun its mission to identify solutions for this issue.”
The Disparity in State Procurement Study Commission serves to assess the procurement of goods and services by State and local government units to determine disparities, if any, between the availability and utilization of small, disadvantaged, and minority- and women-owned business enterprises in particular market areas.
The Commission consists of 15 members, with six members of the State Senate, six members of the General Assembly, and one member appointed by Governor Murphy. The Commission also includes the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property in the Department of the Treasury, or his designee, who serves ex officio; and the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, or his designee, serving ex officio.
Governor Murphy’s appointee on the committee is Hester Agudosi, Chief Diversity Officer of the state of New Jersey.
“When selecting procurement partners, it is our responsibility as a state to ensure that we are inclusive of the great diversity of our state,” said Chief Diversity Officer Hester Agudosi. “The Commission’s first meeting is crucial and I am excited to begin our work towards ensuring access and equal opportunity for minority, disabled, veteran and women-owned businesses to participate in the state procurement process.”
“Racial and ethnic disparities in New Jersey are unfortunately among the worst in the country. For how diverse a state we are, we suffer from the same problems less diverse do,” said Senator Ron Rice. “Thankfully, we are taking steps to reverse this problem. Our diversity should be our greatest strength, and the Commission can be the first step towards making that a possibility.”