Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Disparity Study?

Disparity studies are a means of providing a factual basis for determining whether there are equal opportunities for all firms in the procurement process and support the need, if any, for race or gender conscious, remedial procurement programs. The Study will engage in a review of the City of Cincinnati’s procurement process, including an analysis of the availability and participation in contracts by all vendors, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises, to determine whether race or gender has been a barrier to equal access to public contracts.

This Study will cover City spending from CY2016 through CY2020. If the actual utilization of firms is less than what is expected based on firms that are ready, willing, and able to perform on Cincinnati City contracts (“Availability”), then a “disparity” exists. The Study will also determine whether the disparity is statistically significant enough to suggest whether any action should be taken and whether factors other than race or gender are likely to have caused the disparity.

What is the Study Process?

A disparity study process is broken out into several major parts, including statistical and econometric analysis, legal and purchasing practices analysis, private sector analysis, anecdotal evidence analysis, and findings and recommendations. GSPC is currently collecting data from City of Cincinnati that will be necessary to determine utilization of firms in the marketplace. Principal Investigator, Dr. Vince Eagan, and Legal Analyst, David Maher, Esq., will conduct a policy review and interviews to understand the internal procurement processes and procedures. Our Data Analysts, Yi Zhang and Sascha Hollingsworth will then analyze the data to determine the City of Cincinnati’s availability and utilization of the study groups. Senior Economist, Dr. Gregory N. Price, will then work with available data to determine, through econometric analyses and an analysis of the private sector, whether identified disparities can be attributed to the race and/or gender status of firm owners.

Anecdotal evidence is also crucial to any recommendations we may make to the City of Cincinnati. Our anecdotal evidence includes the following:

  • Survey of business owners across all work categories.
  • Survey of business owners throughout Cincinnati and across all work categories.
  • In-depth anecdotal interviews with businesses in the area, selected randomly from a list of available vendors.
  • Focus groups of randomly selected business owners to share their experiences in doing business in the City of Cincinnati and with City of Cincinnati.
  • Email comments, Informational meetings and public hearings which will all be open to the public.

Check the website ‘Events’ tab for times and locations of scheduled events.

Other relevant study processes include an analysis of City of Cincinnati’s legal environment, both locally and federally, and a purchasing practices analysis to better understand the procurement process. The Study team will conduct interviews with the City of Cincinnati procurement staff regarding their procurement process and the current procurement policies to review whether any barriers to participation exist in the procurement process.

Finally, GSPC will compile a final report containing all the findings from the research above and will provide recommendations to City of Cincinnati regarding the inclusion of minority-owned and women-owned firm in its procurement process.

Who is Griffin & Strong P.C.?

GSPC is a law and public policy consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA, with extensive experience in disparity research, program development and supplier diversity consulting. For more information, see: “Who We Are” or visit us at gspclaw.com

Why should I participate?

It is GSPC’s goal to have gathered the most representative anecdotal evidence as possible from all firms currently in business or desiring to do business with Cincinnati. We desire to understand both the practical challenges and barriers, as well as the positive experiences, faced by businesses within the marketplace. Your participation would provide further insight into the City of Cincinnati’s practices and may shed new light on an area for improvement or substantiate those recounted by others. It is only with your assistance that we will be able to provide Cincinnati with substantive recommendations that can make a real impact on their policies, and your experiences, moving forward.

How do I participate?

The GSPC informational meeting and public hearings are open to the public, and surveys will be sent to businesses for individual feedback.  Additionally, there will be opportunities for focus group participation by random-selection invitation. Feel free to share your experiences with us on Twitter using the hashtag #CincinnatiCityStudy or email us at CincinnatiStudy@gspclaw.com. You can also do the following:

 

State your experiences at scheduled meetings

  • We invite all who are interested, including non-business owners, to attend and share their experiences at the public meetings.

Tell us your story at your convenience

  • For those who may be generally uncomfortable providing their input in public arenas or who are unable to participate in the scheduled meetings, GSPC welcomes your comments and questions regarding the Study and your experiences via email.

When can we read the Study?

  • The projected completion date for the entire Study is mid 2022. Publication of the Study results will be determined by the City and not by Griffin & Strong, P.C.