Virginia’s Interim Report of the Governor’s Supplier Diversity Advisory Board is Both Important and Telling

Posted on January 18, 2011

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As many of you will readily recall, I had the opportunity and privilege to talk with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s new Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas on the PI Window on Business Show this past December.  Here is the link to the on-demand broadcast for those who may have missed it; From Deputy Attorney General to Secretary of Administration: A Conversation with Lisa Hicks-Thomas

As a follow-up to that discussion, I just this morning received from the Secretary the Interim Report of the Governor’s Supplier Diversity Advisory Board.  Over the next few days I will be reviewing the contents and sharing my take on what the findings mean, including how they tie in to a second conversation I had with Secretary Hicks-Thomas just before Christmas.

In the meantime, and I think that this is worth sharing, what I have always appreciated about the Commonwealth’s approach to public sector procurement is the fact that there seems to exist a true foundation of communication and collaboration.  I am not saying that the mechanisms for engagement and exchange have always been perfect and without fault however, and despite the inevitable disagreements, the focus has always been on discovering the true lay of the land so to speak and then doing something productive about it.

The JLARC Review was of course an important exercise in this regard as it opened the door to reveal several areas of potential improvement.  What is particularly exciting about this newest report from the Governor’s Diversity Advisory Board is that it was embarked upon adhering to the same principals associated with the JLARC exercise in that it is based upon a getting it right versus being right mindset.

Ultimately of course, we will be airing a special 60 minute segment on the report and as was the case with the JLARC Review, we will be inviting suppliers both within and from outside the Commonwealth to call in with their thoughts and opinions.

Stay tuned.

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