What is a Disparity Study?

A Disparity Study (Study) is an evaluation of the procurement and contracting practices of governments, particularly the use of Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) in government contracting.

Who is sponsoring the Study?

The Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is the Study sponsor.

What is the purpose of the Study?

The Study will determine if a statistical disparity exists in the award of MSD contracts to ready, willing, and able market area M/WBEs.

What guidelines exist to direct the Study?

The Study will be guided by the United States Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469 (1989), and its progeny.

Why has MSD decided to conduct the Study?

MSD has decided to conduct the Study to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Determine if, and to what extent, discrimination exists in the market area that affects M/WBEs access to contracts
  • Determine if, and to what extent, a disparity exists between the utilization of M/WBE contractors and their availability
  • Enhance the MSD’s M/WBE race and gender-conscious and race and gender-neutral programs and make recommendations based on Study findings

How will MSD benefit from the Study?

MSD will derive the following benefits:

  • Identify best practices to improve MSD’s contracting process
  • Increase number of bidders on MSD’s contracts
  • Expand contracting opportunities for M/WBEs

How will MSD identify available businesses?

To identify available businesses, Mason Tillman Associates, Ltd. (Mason Tillman), will conduct a broad-based business outreach program using a thorough data collection process. The MSD’s contract records, government certification lists, outreach meetings, and trade and professional association lists will be used to identify available businesses.

Which industries are being studied?

The industries being studied are construction, construction-related services, engineering and professional services, and materials and commodities.

Who is conducting the Study?

Mason Tillman, a national expert in conducting disparity studies, is conducting the Study. Mason Tillman Associates will review MSD’s contract records, identify market area businesses, and collect anecdotal accounts from business owners.

How can local business owners get involved?

Local business owners can get involved in several ways:

  • Attend one of the business community meetings
  • Complete a business survey
  • Participate in a telephone interview to share contracting and bidding experiences
  • Provide membership lists from local business associations

Who should business owners contact to get additional information?

Mason Tillman can be contacted by telephone at (502) 371-0777, by email at LouisvilleMSDDisparityStudy@mtaltd.com, or on the website at www.MSDDisparityStudy.com.