Services: Program development; Supplier Diversity Monitoring and Compliance Tracking and Reporting
Opportunity: Administration of the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program lies with the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs (GOSBA). GOSBA serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor on key MBE issues and works directly with State agencies regarding compliance and reporting. GOSBA is also the primary advocate for certified MBEs and the small, minority- and women-owned business community at large.
Maryland’s MBE Program is well-recognized as a national model for minority inclusion in State procurement and contracting. In 2008 when voters approved Video Lottery Terminals as a source of revenue for the State of Maryland, GOSBA was tasked with implementing the legislation that would ensure that developers and the selected Prime Contractors would adhere to the target MBE participation goals.
This was unchartered territory for GOSBA and in 2010 Laisar was awarded the contract to help interpret the new legislation and create the mechanisms to effectively provide regular reporting to the Governor’s office and other constituencies.
Challenges: Laisar immediately recognized opportunities to increase efficiency of data collection and analysis. The existing process was paper-based and relied on participants of the program to send information via mail.
Solutions: Once the requirement was understood, Laisar successfully:
- Designed the monitoring and compliance process for GOSBA reporting
- Designed a Suite of Smart PDF Forms used to collect payment information from vendors electronically via email
- Created a VLT Monitoring Toolkit utilized by each Developer and Contractor
- Collected and provided GOSBA with all the information that was needed for official reporting
- Oversaw the site visit process to ensure that companies that were being paid were actively working
- Worked closely with the certified minority businesses to educate them on the requirement and processing of payment information reporting
- Reviewed company financial documents to determine exclusions and validate information received from Developers
There were several forms that each participant in the program was required to complete at the start of the program and monthly. Laisar created electronic submission forms that allowed for increased control and speed of the process. A robust database with a web interface was developed and introduced. As a result, data information from the program went from 50 percent on time delivery to 95 percent. Process automation reduced the number of staff required to manage the data entry process.
Laisar also provided advisory services to the Director for MBE Compliance on best practices for complex issues involving strategy, process, procedures, and approaches. Laisar maintained knowledge of new and pending legislation, interagency and any activities that would impact the implementation and enforcement of the Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) legislation.
As a result, GOSBA received a high rating from the Maryland Office of Legislative Affairs on the effectiveness of its program. Laisar took a State process for MBE reporting and automated it to allow for immediate data collection and accountability. All reports are now submitted electronically instead of being completed and mailed to the GOSBA office.