Office of Business Opportunity

Disparity Study

Purpose

As required by Chapter 15 of the City Code of Ordinances, the City shall make its best efforts to initiate a review of its minority and women business enterprise program at least every five years.   Timeliness of a disparity study is critical in order to analyze recent and updated performance of MWSBE’s and to determine the need of remedial programs, if any.  Additionally, a recent study strengthens the legal defensibility to a judicial constitutional challenge of the enacted program.  The Office of Business Opportunity has been charged with leading this endeavor in concert with Colette Holt & Associates, who were approved by the Mayor and City council on August 24, 2016 to be the Consultants for the study.

Colette Holt & Associates Study Website (http://houston.disparity-study.com/)

If you have any questions, you can contact Arwa Harianawala at arwa.harianawala@houstontx.gov or the Consultants at Houston_study@mwbelaw.com.

Current Disparity Study
The consultant, Colette Holt & Associates (CHA) are currently in the process of collecting contract data from the City of Houston departments. Once contract data is received by the Consultant, they will begin the next phase of verifying and completing contract details, and reach out to prime contractors to collect any missing data necessary to complete the analysis.

The City of Houston with CHA held a kickoff meeting on January 12, 2017, for the public to learn more about the Disparity Study and the City’s efforts to ensure that minority and women-owned businesses have equal access to contracting opportunities.

The next round of meetings have been scheduled to gain input from minority and women owned business groups, trade organizations, chambers of commerce, community groups and other organizations. These stakeholder meetings will be held on April 21, 2017.

CHA will also be scheduling group interview sessions for business owners later in the study. We encourage all interested parties to submit their contact information on the “Contact Us” tab on the consultant’s website at http://houston.disparity-study.com/.

Stakeholder Involvement
There are a number of ways stakeholders can be involved and informed. Input collected throughout the study will be considered and incorporated into the final report.

Previous Disparity Studies