LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive Thursday that seeks to make the city’s contracting and procurement process more equitable and accessible for women- and minority-owned businesses.
The directive, signed a day before Women’s Equality Day, instructs city departments to collect specific data regarding the procurement process for city contracts, including standardizing the collection of business demographics for all departments. The goal of collecting more data is to clear the path for charter amendments that could lead to better small business inclusion in the procurement process. The directive also expedites payment procedures for contractors, provides resources to subcontractors and streamlines business support and outreach, according to Garcetti.
“When this administration pledged in 2013 to make women’s equality a cornerstone of the work that we did here, it was with a firm belief that gender equity wasn’t about checking off a box,” Garcetti said. “It was about getting a culture. It was about training a workforce. Making it a core value through a prism which we could reflect everything we do.”
Garcetti was joined Thursday by Council members Nithya Raman and Paul Krekorian at a news briefing to sign the directive.
Krekorian said that traditional methods of procurement allocate contracts based on issues of cost, which historically has meant businesses going out of state because of the high cost of doing business in Los Angeles. Additional data will allow businesses to be better compete for contracts and be aware of resources, according to Krekorian.
“It means our tax dollars are going to create jobs in North Carolina instead of North Hollywood,” Krekorian said. “It means people don’t have an opportunity to achieve success by contracting with the very city that they’re investing in and making a home in and creating a business in and that’s wrong.”
The data is expected to be passed on to the next mayoral administration to use, according to Raman. Garcetti added that his office and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation will release a study Friday with recommendations on improving the procurement process.
“It is bequeathing a wealth of information that will allow us to make sure that the progress that we made on this very, very important issue over the last few years is not lost as we move into a new administration,” Raman said. “That we’re institutionalizing it, and that we’re making sure that the data that we need to continue pushing, prodding and making sure that this city and its dollars work for its people and are available for all of us to do that.”