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Rochester mayor submits plan for 30 percent MWBE goal
Published on 03/14/2018

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren recently presented a plan to increase minority- and woman-owned business (MWBE) participation on city contracts to the City Council. The measure, should the City Council approve it, would take effect on July 1.

The proposal would increase MWBE participation goals on city contracts, which have remained static since their introduction in 1994, at 9.9 percent for street work and 19.2 percent for general construction, among other numbers, to match the state target of 30 percent. The measure would also add workforce targets of 20 percent minority and 6.9 percent women and extend the goals to fields of city contracting not previously using MWBE goals, such as consultant contracts.

The legislative proposal comes on the heels of a draft of a city audit of the MWBE program that was released in the summer of 2017, and which criticized the city's accounting of minority participation and of oversight over the program to ensure that contractors were following program rules.

The auditors discovered, among other identified areas of concern, that the city was depending on the prime contractors' own word to verify MWBE participation expenses in many cases. Other lapses discovered included prime contractors failing to meet lowered participation goals even after waivers were granted, counting businesses with no MWBE certification as MWBEs, and other irregularities.

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