Pa. reviews business practices to ensure diversity in contracts

Gov. Tom Wolf visits Philadelphia to outline scope of study to uncover disparities in awarding government contracts.

Tom Wolf at the podium in Philadelphia City Hall, Council chambers

Gov. Tom Wolf talks about a Pennsylvania study of its business practices to ensure diversity. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The state of Pennsylvania is reviewing whether it’s buying and contracting with companies owned by a wide enough diversity of ownership. The study is aimed at uncovering any disparity in the way the state awards government contracts.

Visiting Philadelphia Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf outlined the study’s aim of evaluating the number of companies owned by women, minorities, veterans, the disabled, and members of the LGBT community that supply the state with goods and services.

“Pennsylvania, in the early days, became the strong place that it was because of diversity,” Wolf said. “And we need to continue that long and hallowed tradition here in Pennsylvania.

“And that is why, since I became governor, I have worked hard to restore and broaden the commonwealth’s emphasis on diversity.”

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Kevin Williams heads the firm brought in to conduct the study.

“We will be looking at the factors that influence business formation, such as human capital and whether women and minorities are able to advance and enter into the industries that make up commonwealth contracting,” he said.

The work will be punctuated with interim reports and discussions before the final report is issued.

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