Disparity Study

The County of Santa Clara (“County”) completed its first comprehensive Disparity Study, led by MGT Consulting Group. The disparity study evaluated procurement and contracting by the County and was conducted within California’s legal framework as established by court rulings. It was the County’s intent to collect baseline data identifying any disparities between the availability of diverse business enterprises and the utilization of diverse business enterprises as contractors and subcontractors on County contracts. The County endeavored to determine the factors that led to any identified disparities, including, but not limited to, existing policies, processes, technologies, and programs. The Study further served to augment the County’s outreach efforts with strategic approaches to remedy any identified disparities.

In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co that the City’s Minority Business Utilization Plan was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. This landmark case established that state and local race-based programs must uphold “strict scrutiny,” which recognized the following:

  • The governmental entity must show that racial classification is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling governmental interest.
  • A race-based remedial program may be created to rectify the effects of identified, systemic, past racial discrimination within its jurisdiction. 

Further, in 1996 the voters of the State of California approved Proposition 209, which amended the California Constitution to prohibit discrimination against, as well as preferential treatment to, on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and public contracting.

The County’s study included the analysis of contract and purchasing data to determine if disparities existed between the availability of diverse business enterprises and the utilization of such businesses as contractors or subcontractors on County contracts for goods, services, and construction. The Study included quantitative data collected from the County expenditures and qualitative data provided by business owners and area trade associations and business organizations.

We encouraged ALL business owners to provide information about their experiences doing business, or attempting to do business, with the County of Santa Clara.

Minority-, women-, disabled veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses were strongly encouraged to participate, collectively, diverse business enterprises (DIV-BE).

To learn more about doing business with the County of Santa Clara, visit the Procurement Department. https://procurement.sccgov.org/doing-business-county/vendor-registration


MGT Consulting has prepared the Santa Clara County draft disparity study report.

Disparity Study Project Team

MGT of America Consulting Inc in partnership with the County of Santa Clara

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