Equity-Focused Operations “At What Cost?”

Equity-Focused Operations “At What Cost?”

 

Ms Tami Sawyer announced that she will be a candidate for Memphis Mayor this year. She is currently a Shelby County commissioner. I wish her luck and she will no doubt be a formidable candidate. But let us look at what she says.

“My administration will be one that is set on equity,” Sawyer said on the podcast. “All of the operations that come out of City Hall will be equity-focused. That’s how you get to that shift. You put leaders in place who share your vision, who believe equity and opportunity are required in all parts of the city.”

Ms Sawyer points out that Mayor Strickland has publicized the jump in city spending with minority- and women-owned businesses from 12 percent to 24 percent since 2016. Despite that increase, Sawyer called the current figures “staggeringly low,” and said that spending should be more closely aligned with Memphis’ demographic makeup.

“What I want to see is a number that’s closer to the 70 percent,” she said. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”

The only interpretation is that all city and county contracts and spending will not be based on lowest and best price but on the basis of minority and women owned credentials regardless of cost.

I have been calling for some time for a change in City and County purchasing procedures. It is very difficult to bid on city and county purchasing contracts as the paperwork is complex. But what is missing is open access to competitive bids and the cost of minority preferences. We currently do not know what minority preferences are costing taxpayers. We are entitled to know how much extra we are paying for these rules and purchasing ratios. Therefore, the City and County should show on each bid the other bidders on each contract and if the low bidder did not get the contract, we should know why and the cost differential. Also, each contract should display the minority percentage of the contract and what minority received the contract.

I have railed against this minority spending requirement for several years. I am not against economically disadvantaged minorities getting a leg up. However what should be changed is the following. The paperwork and legal qualification rules are very complicated and discourage otherwise qualified firms. There should be a common-sense method such as the better business bureau or other independent organization that gives a rating system based on customer satisfaction reports.

Most importantly the purchasing system should be open and transparent with the final bids and selection on line and open to all. If a minority firm is the low bidder, so be it. If it is not the low bidder and is selected, then the price differential should be no more than 3% to 5% and then the minority firm should be given a one to two-year time to graduate to a no price differential status for future competitive bids. The system now is not transparent, and we do not know what minority spending rules are costing us and we do not know who the beneficiaries are.

What MS Sawyer is proposing is the distribution of taxpayer funds on the basis of race or gender preferences. That always leads to friends of the politicians getting the bulk of the pie without any benefit to the public.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms Tami Sawyer announced that she will be a candidate for Memphis Mayor this year. She is currently a Shelby County commissioner. I wish her luck and she will no doubt be a formidable candidate. But let us look at what she says.

“My administration will be one that is set on equity,” Sawyer said on the podcast. “All of the operations that come out of City Hall will be equity-focused. That’s how you get to that shift. You put leaders in place who share your vision, who believe equity and opportunity are required in all parts of the city.”

Ms Sawyer points out that Mayor Strickland has publicized the jump in city spending with minority- and women-owned businesses from 12 percent to 24 percent since 2016. Despite that increase, Sawyer called the current figures “staggeringly low,” and said that spending should be more closely aligned with Memphis’ demographic makeup.

“What I want to see is a number that’s closer to the 70 percent,” she said. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”

The only interpretation is that all city and county contracts and spending will not be based on lowest and best price but on the basis of minority and women owned credentials regardless of cost.

I have been calling for some time for a change in City and County purchasing procedures. It is very difficult to bid on city and county purchasing contracts as the paperwork is complex. But what is missing is open access to competitive bids and the cost of minority preferences. We currently do not know what minority preferences are costing taxpayers. We are entitled to know how much extra we are paying for these rules and purchasing ratios. Therefore, the City and County should show on each bid the other bidders on each contract and if the low bidder did not get the contract, we should know why and the cost differential. Also, each contract should display the minority percentage of the contract and what minority received the contract.

I have railed against this minority spending requirement for several years. I am not against economically disadvantaged minorities getting a leg up. However what should be changed is the following. The paperwork and legal qualification rules are very complicated and discourage otherwise qualified firms. There should be a common-sense method such as the better business bureau or other independent organization that gives a rating system based on customer satisfaction reports.

Most importantly the purchasing system should be open and transparent with the final bids and selection on line and open to all. If a minority firm is the low bidder, so be it. If it is not the low bidder and is selected, then the price differential should be no more than 3% to 5% and then the minority firm should be given a one to two-year time to graduate to a no price differential status for future competitive bids. The system now is not transparent, and we do not know what minority spending rules are costing us and we do not know who the beneficiaries are.

What MS Sawyer is proposing is the distribution of taxpayer funds on the basis of race or gender preferences. That always leads to friends of the politicians getting the bulk of the pie without any benefit to the public.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply