During their last meeting, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (IA) – which is composed of the Leon County Commission and the City Commission -voted to direct staff to seek a 25% reduction in the $536,000 cost proposed by the top ranked consultant to complete a disparity study.
Days before the meeting, Tallahassee Reports learned that the consultant chosen to complete the disparity study -MGT of America- told the City of Virginia Beach that a disparity study could be done for between $200,000-$300,000.
Our report can be read here.
A disparity study is a review that compares the amount of city contracts awarded to minority vendors with the number of businesses available that can do the work.
Led by Mayor Andrew Gillum, a number of elected officials expressed concern over the $536,000 cost of the study and the $94,000 difference between the first and second ranked consultants.
City Commissioner Scott Maddox, who has been an outspoken critic of the cost of the study, had previously recommended that the study be completed by professionals employed by local universities. Maddox also asked IA staff if they had researched the costs of disparity studies in other cities. IA staff said they did.
County Commissioner John Dailey said the $536,000 cost gave him “sticker shock.”
Ultimately, the IA passed a motion, made by County Commissioner Lindley, that directed staff to negotiate a cost 25% lower than the top ranked consultant, MGT of America, had proposed. If an agreement is not reached with MGT of America, the second ranked consultant will then enter the negotiations.