HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont has directed the state Department of Administrative Services, in consultation with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, to seek an independent study to review state contracting practices to determine whether women and minority-owned businesses are under-utilized in state contracting, and whether there are any unintentional institutional, procedural or financial barriers that prevent small contractors, including those owned by women, minorities or people with disabilities, from fully participating in the process.

The governor explained that it is a goal of his administration to embrace policies that increase equity throughout state government and a review of this kind can help shine a light on whether there are any hurdles that create opportunity gaps in the ways the state seeks vendors to perform public services.

“Regularly conducting disparity studies is not only considered to be a national best practice, but it is simply the right thing to do,” Gov. Lamont said. 

“We must do everything we can to understand the extent to which there is under-utilization of women and minority-owned businesses in state contracting and if so, to ensure that businesses have access to networking, mentoring, and training activities that improve their awareness of and access to opportunities to do business with the state. 

“This disparity study will help us achieve that important goal.”

The Department of Administrative Services has issued an RFP seeking independent firms to conduct the study. Those interested in participating must submit proposals to the state by July 2.

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