2004 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 57-69-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE OFFICE OF MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SHALL SERVE AS THE OFFICIAL STATE COORDINATING OFFICE FOR ALL STATE AGENCIES THAT RECEIVE FEDERAL MONIES AND FOR ALL STATE PROCUREMENTS AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENSURING THAT MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES ARE PROVIDED AN ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE FAIRLY IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH FEDERAL MONIES AND IN THE AWARDING OF SUCH PROCUREMENT AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 57-69-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
57-69-5. (1) There is hereby created the Office of Minority Business Enterprises of the Mississippi Development Authority under the Mississippi Development Authority. The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority shall appoint an executive director for the office. The executive director may employ a staff subject to approval of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority as necessary to carry out the purposes of this office.
(2) The office shall perform the following:
(a) Develop, plan and implement programs to provide an opportunity for participation by qualified minority owned businesses in public works and the process by which goods and services are procured by state agencies and educational institutions from the private sector;
(b) Develop a comprehensive plan encouraging that qualified minority owned businesses are provided an opportunity to participate in public contracts for public works and commodities and services;
(c) Identify barriers to equal participation by qualified minority owned businesses in all state agency and educational institution contracts;
(d) Develop and maintain a central minority business enterprise certification list for all state agencies and educational institutions;
(e) Adopt rules for the implementation of this chapter;
(f) Develop and maintain a central minority business enterprise certification program;
(g) Submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature outlining the progress and economic impact on the public and private sectors of implementing this chapter;
(h) Increase efforts to inform minority businesses of state government procurement procedures and policies;
(i) Serve as the principal advocate in the state on behalf of minority business enterprises and provide advice in the consideration of administrative requirements and legislation that affect minority business enterprises;
(j) Evaluate the effectiveness of efforts of state agencies and other entities to assist minority business enterprises and make appropriate recommendations to assist the development and strengthening of minority business enterprises;
(k) Determine the availability of financial and other resources to minority business enterprises and recommend methods for:
(i) Increasing the availability of equity capital and other forms of financial assistance to minority business enterprises;
(ii) Generating markets for the goods and services of minority business enterprises;
(iii) Providing more effective education, training and management and technical assistance to minority business enterprises; and
(iv) Providing assistance to minority business enterprises in complying with federal, state and local laws;
(l) Serve as a focal point for receiving complaints and suggestions concerning state government policies and activities that affect minority business enterprises;
(m) Develop and advocate proposals for changes in state policies and activities that adversely affect minority business enterprises;
(n) Provide to legislative committees and state agencies information on the effects of proposed policies or actions that affect minority business enterprises;
(o) Enlist the assistance of public and private agencies, businesses and other organizations in disseminating information about state programs and services that benefit minority business enterprises and information regarding means by which minority business enterprises can use those programs and services;
(p) Identify sources of financial assistance for minority business enterprises, match minority business enterprises with sources of financial assistance, and assist minority business enterprises with the preparation of applications for loans from governmental or private sources;
(q) Sponsor meetings, to the extent practicable in cooperation with public and private educational institutions, to provide training and disseminate information beneficial to minority business enterprises;
(r) Assist minority business enterprises in their dealings with federal, state and local governmental agencies and provide information regarding governmental requirements affecting minority business enterprises;
(s) Develop and implement programs to encourage governmental agencies, public sector business associations and other organizations to provide useful services to minority business enterprises;
(t) Use available resources within the state, such as minority business enterprise development centers, educational institutions and nonprofit associations, to coordinate the provision of management and technical assistance to minority business enterprises in a systematic manner;
(u) Publish newsletters, brochures and other documents containing information useful to minority business enterprises;
(v) Identify successful minority business enterprise assistance programs provided by other states and determine the feasibility of adapting those programs for implementation in Mississippi;
(w) Establish an outreach program to make the existence of the office known to minority business enterprises and potential clients throughout the state; and
(x) Identify potential business opportunities for minority business enterprises and develop programs to maximize those opportunities.
(3) The Office of Minority Business Enterprises of the Mississippi Development Authority shall serve as the official state coordinating office for all state agencies that receive federal monies and for all state procurements and construction projects for the purpose of ensuring that minority business enterprises are provided an adequate opportunity to participate fairly in the distribution of such federal monies and in the awarding of such procurement and construction contracts.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.