C O M M I S S I O N N E W S R E L E A S E
Contact: Kathy Liebler (717) 939-9551 Ex 2850 October 21, 1997
COMMISSION LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO ATTRACT
MINORITY PARTICIPATION IN CONSULTANT CONTRACTS
RADIO STATIONS: ATTENTION FOR VOICE ACTUALITIES ABOUT THIS NEWS RELEASE, CALL TIBS, THE TURNPIKES INFORMATION BROADCAST SERVICE. 1-800-563-5425.
Harrisburg, PA --- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission today approved a new initiative to encourage more participation by minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (MBE/WBE/DBE) in non-federally funded consulting contracts.
"The Turnpike Commission wants to be consistent in the awarding of engineering contracts, particularly in the consulting area," said Executive Director John Durbin. "We have a program in place that determines specific levels of participation for subcontracting work, materials, supplies, goods and services for non-federally funded construction jobs. We wanted to expand that program to include contracts for consulting engineers which amount to more than $1 million per contract."
Durbin explained that the Commission follows appropriate MBE/WBE/DBE provisions for the awarding of all federally funded contracts. "It's common sense that we extend that policy to include all major consultant contracts," he said.
Durbin credited Turnpike Commissioner Robert Brady for "bringing this issue to the table. Under Commissioner Brady's leadership, we realized the need to broaden our focus."
Brady said, "I believe the new program will definitely allow more MBE/WBE/DBE companies to participate in Turnpike consulting projects. The Commission each year awards several consulting contracts which fall into the 'more than $1 million range.' This new effort will help ensure consistency in the awarding of Turnpike contracts as well as Turnpike dollars."
Valerie Payne, the Turnpike's MBE/WBE coordinator said it is much more difficult to get minority participation in consulting engineer contracts because those contracts often involve smaller firms doing less diversified work from more central locations. She explained that the new proposal encourages minimum MBE/WBE/DBE participation at a level of ten percent for contracts estimated over $1 million. "By encouraging a specific level of participation, prime consultants will have the impetus to include MBE/WBE/DBEs in non-federally funded agreements as they presently do in federally funded agreements," she said.
Consultants would be required to identify MBE/WBE/DBEs or demonstrate good faith efforts to include MBE/WBE/DBEs at the time of submission of their letter of interest which is required when responding to proposal requests, Payne explained.
67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676
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