New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awarded contracts to 29 New York State certified Minority-and-Women-Owned Businesses (MWBE) within the Information Technology (IT) Sector. Of the 29 MWBEs, 20 are based inside New York State, including 11 from New York City. The 29 MWBE certified vendors were chosen for their broad range of expertise in the IT sector.
Out of 97 New York State agencies and public authorities, the MTA ranks number one in dollars paid to New York City-certified MWBEs — paying $736 million to these businesses during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This represents nearly 30% of all state-issued contracts.
“As we invest in our region’s infrastructure we must also invest in these often-excluded diverse entrepreneurs. Access to government contracts ensures job creation, home ownership, better educational opportunities, improved health care options and other economic development benefits within these communities,” said MTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Michael J. Garner. “New York State legislators have supported our diversity efforts and we are now demonstrating vastly improved diversity results. Through the State’s MWBE program we have created a larger pool of diverse qualified businesses who can now compete, win, and complete our projects, safely, timely, and within budget.”
In total, approximately $118 million in contracts were awarded. The robust amount of contracting is a result of changes to the allowable size of assignments to the firms, with the maximum rising to $1 million from $400,000. The assignment size increase to a maximum of $1 million is a result of legislative reforms that give the MTA program more flexibility and allow it to award the largest MWBE assignments of 97 New York State agencies and public authorities.
These IT assignments are the result of a contract that was originally awarded in 2016. The MTA is working to extend the contract past current scheduled expiration in February 2021 by another two years.
The MTA can solicit pricing from three NYS-certified MWBEs and expedite the award process without requesting proposals from a broader pool of competing bids since the pricing was aligned with previous awards. As a result, the MTA proactively issued three separate Discretionary RFPs in the sectors of Information Technology, Architecture and Engineering, and Legal Services.
Vendors have been awarded at least one IT assignment, but the majority of firms have received multiple assignments. Two of the firms — QED National, an NYS-certified WBE who received 64 assignments totaling $12.4 million and Capstone Strategy Group LLC, an NYS-certified MBE, who received 33 assignments totaling $6.1 million — have been strong voices for the MWBE community, working with elected officials to get further legislation passed to increase diversity thresholds.
Capstone Strategies served the MTA’s six agencies as a business transformation advisor focusing on Process Improvement, System Integration, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for Public Service agencies. They provided Oracle developers, systems analysts, project managers and database administrators supporting multiple system implementations at the MTA. The various critical projects included the centralized train scheduling system project and the managed print service program.
QED National has served the MTA for almost 10 years providing subject matter experts in cybersecurity, cloud migrations, and network architecture, as well as web and mobile applications. Their programmers, IT security consultants, system analysts, and other service providers helped advance many of the MTA’s critical programs.
Since March when the COVID pandemic began, the MTA has awarded $73.1 million in contracts to more than 26 NYS-certified and MTA-certified minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises to supply the necessary equipment, supplies, and professional services needed to respond to the virus.