Report 2018-114 Recommendation 14 Responses
Report 2018-114: Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program: The Departments of General Services and Veterans Affairs Have Failed to Maximize Participation and to Accurately Measure Program Success (Release Date: February 2019)
Recommendation #14 To: General Services, Department of
To ensure that its outreach efforts are effective and result in a greater number of DVBE firms available that can provide the necessary goods and services awarding departments are seeking, General Services should develop an outreach plan to include outreach activities found to be effective in the past based on its assessment. This plan should also emphasize outreach to increase the number of DVBE firms that provide the types of goods and services that awarding departments struggle to obtain from DVBE firms.
1-Year Agency Response
Since February 2019, OSDS has been collecting data on DVBE-focused Outreach activities. Based on the data collected, Outreach has completed an annual assessment as of January 2020 on the effectiveness of past outreach efforts in increasing the number of DVBE firms that become certified that can provide the necessary goods and services awarding departments are seeking. This completed assessment revealed which activities were impacting the program most positively and which needed adjustments moving forward. This can be seen in Outreach's targeted Outreach plan, completed in January 2020, which commits to focus on the following going forward:
- Outreach will continue to attend events hosted by our DVBE strategic partners and provide direct support to DVBEs and potential DVBEs.
- Continue to strengthen relationships with DVBE-focused organizations and request DVBE organizations to focus outreach to DVBE firms that can provide goods and services state departments are seeking.
- Outreach is launching a media campaign to capture DVBE firm success stories in contracting.
- Address difficulties using Cal eProcure's search function and certification application.
- OSDS will continue to host quarterly meetings for SB/DVBE advocates, invite advocate feedback to improve outreach, host annual agency visits with departments who struggle to find DVBE firms who provide the goods and services they need, and continue to provide training.
- Outreach will continue to revamp brochures and online resources to provide the necessary information in the clearest and most concise manner.
- Monitor SCPRS data and dashboards to ensure that state departments are continuing to use a variety of DVBEs.
- Monitor DVBE certification data to see what types of goods and services newly certified DVBE firms provide to ensure they align with states needs and continue to evaluate if targeted outreach efforts are effective.
- Designing training webinars for State certified businesses.
- Completion Date: January 2020
- Response Date: February 2020
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented
6-Month Agency Response
To assess outreach, the Outreach team distributes a Post-Workshop Evaluation Questionnaire to all attendees. This questionnaire helps determine if the businesses attending outreach workshops are certified or plan to get certified, as well as what additional outreach services would better support them with state contracting efforts. Of the workshop attendees who have taken the survey, 78% of businesses reported they are not certified and 93% of those plan to get certified.
Furthermore, Outreach composed an article that was disseminated to our strategic partners along with a request to include it in their membership newsletters and websites. As of June 2019, the article has been featured in ten strategic partner newsletters. The DGS article features DGS certification program information and the Outreach team's mission and goals in serving the SB/DVBE communities. DGS will continue to track DVBE outreach information posted and utilize our partners' ability to reach DVBE firms that provide the goods and services state departments need.
Lastly, Outreach has updated the Strategic Partnership Request form for FY 19-20 to reflect increased requirements for DVBE organizations we partner with going forward. These updated requirements ask DVBE organizations to:
- Provide post-outreach event information about potential DVBE firms who were in attendance.
- Focus outreach to DVBE firms that can provide goods and services state departments are seeking.
- Disseminate DVBE certification information to their membership.
- Regularly share state contracting needs with their membership.
DGS will continue to work closely with our strategic partners to identify strategies for finding additional DVBE firms that provide the goods and services state departments are seeking.
- Estimated Completion Date: January 2020
- Response Date: August 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
60-Day Agency Response
DGS will work closely with DVBE strategic partners such as the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), etc. and reciprocity partners (various California cities, counties and public agencies) to identify strategies for finding additional DVBE firms that meet the needs of state departments. The Outreach Team will incorporate these strategies into developing a targeted outreach plan by January 1, 2020. This plan will include ways to leverage DVBE strategic partnerships to further support outreach efforts and wider dissemination of DVBE information to their member/suppliers.
- Estimated Completion Date: January 2020
- Response Date: April 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.