New York State Executive Chamber | Governor Eliot Spitzer


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2007

GOVERNOR ELIOT SPITZER SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO BENEFIT WOMEN AND MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS ENTERPRISES


Establishes Leadership Council and Corporate Roundtable

New York, NY (February 18, 2007) Governor Eliot Spitzer today signed an executive order creating an Executive Leadership Council and Corporate Roundtable to promote opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE). Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson will chair both the Council and the Roundtable.

The MWBE Executive Leadership Council will seek to improve the participation of MWBE businesses in the state’s procurement process through recommendations made by executives in state agencies and public authorities that award business contracts to the private sector.  The MWBE Corporate Roundtable will seek to do the same through recommendations made by corporate executives in the private sector.

“New York’s economy must be open for all to participate.  We will take steps to ensure that state agencies and authorities increase participation of qualified MWBEs in state contracts,” said Governor Spitzer. “This initiative will provide opportunities to qualified MWBE firms and improve their permanent capacities to compete.”

“This executive action is economically, politically, and morally significant.  It implements policies that empower our communities,” said Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson. “With strong leadership from the executive, New York State will implement its vision of a level playing field for these enterprises. Running a successful business in New York will depend more on one's qualifications and business acumen, rather than one's gender or skin color.”

The MWBE Executive Leadership Council (ELC) will make recommendations to increase MWBE participation in state contracting, including:

● Identifying best practices for state agencies to use to promote MWBE business participation;
● Identifying laws, rules, regulations, and practices of state agencies which are counter-productive or unfavorable to MWBE businesses seeking state    contracting;
● Recommending ways to improve inter-governmental cooperation among state agencies and public authorities to improve the goals of the MWBE    program; and
● Evaluating the practices of public authorities in promoting the participation of certified MWBE businesses, including, but not limited to, underwriters    legal counsel, financial services firms and consultants.

The Council will consist of at least sixteen members including the Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, the Director of the Division of MWBE Development, the State Comptroller, the Director of the Budget, the New York State Chief Information Officer, the Commissioner of the Office of General Services, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, the President of the Battery Park City Authority, the Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country, the Executive Director of the Dormitory Authority, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Executive Director of the Thruway Authority.

The MWBE Corporate Roundtable will make recommendations to increase MWBE participation in state contracting, through areas such as:

● Advancing technology to facilitate and track MWBE contracting;
● Setting goals for MWBE utilization;
● Benchmarking and accurate recording of MWBE utilization; and
● Training of state procurement officers to ensure full understanding of the MWBE program and opportunities.

The Roundtable will consist of at least sixteen members including the Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, the Director of the Division of the MWBE Development and thirteen business executives representing corporations that have distinguished themselves by purchasing a significant percentage of goods and services from a diverse supplier base.  The corporate representation of the members will reflect the diversity of contracting engaged in by the state.

In 1988 New York State enacted a law establishing a comprehensive, statewide Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (“MWBE”) program. This program has certified 6,975 minority and women-owned business to date.