The Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, or OMWI, of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has submitted its first report pursuant to Section 342(e) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The report covers Section 342-related activities at the SEC from the establishment of OMWI in July 2011 through the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the annual report must include the following:
- a statement of the total amounts paid to contractors during the reporting period;
- the percentage of the amounts paid to contractors that were paid to minority-owned and women-owned businesses;
- the successes achieved and challenges faced by the agency in operating minority and women outreach programs;
- the challenges the agency may face in hiring qualified minority and women employees and contracting with qualified minority-owned and women-owned businesses; and,
- any other information, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislative or agency action, as the OMWI Director determines appropriate.
The report notes that during fiscal year 2011, the SEC awarded $228 million to contractors. Of this $228 million, the SEC awarded $38.38 million (16.8%) to minority-owned businesses and $15.69 million (6.9%) to women-owned businesses.
The report also discloses that during fiscal year 2011, OMWI had limited staff as the office was newly created, and was unable to provide in-depth technical assistance to minority-owned and women-owned businesses. In fiscal year 2012,OMWI is in the process of hiring more staff and will have the resources to provide businesses seeking contracts with the SEC with a comprehensive overview of the contracting process from the proposal phase to the contract award phase, including an overview of the process of bidding on a requirement.
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