From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jennifer Wichmann or Ricardo Lopez-Guerra
(214) 467-0123 / 512-463-0123
November 5, 2002

Senator West reconvenes hearing on Texas' agencies HUB procurement plans

AUSTIN -- State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and State Representative Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) have called a second session to further examine state agencies' adherence to Texas' Historically Underutilized Business Program (HUBs). The hearing will take place Thursday, November 7, 2002 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Finance Committee Room (E1.038), Capitol Extension. Thursday's event is a follow-up to the two-day conference held August 22-23, 2002 at the State Capitol.

"The purpose of the earlier conference was to get an idea concerning the status of the implementation of the mandates contained in Senate Bill 178," said Senator West. "We found that there are a few agencies that are doing extremely well. But the overwhelming majority of state agencies have not instituted Senate Bill 178 as intended by the legislation. Several agencies that came before the committee were requested to submit to us an improvement plan," said Senator West. "This second hearing will help us in determining where those agencies are in complying to that request.

During the 1999, 76th Legislative Session, Senator West and Representative Dukes authored language in Senate Bill 178 that encourages state agencies to provide procurement and subcontracting opportunities to HUB vendors. The goal of the state's HUB program is to ensure that minority and women-owned businesses have increased opportunities to participate in the billions of dollars awarded annually in state contracts.

HUB participation reached a high in 1996 when 16% of state procurement dollars were awarded to minority and women-owned business. Those awards have since steadily declined. For FY02, the Texas Building and Procurement Commission reported statewide HUB spending at 9.65% of state service contracts.

"Last month's annual report shows an overall 3% decline in HUB participation between 2001 and 2002," said Senator West. "We want to get an idea on why overall, there was such a drastic decrease."

Senator West's and Representative Dukes' efforts have been joined by the Senate Hispanic Caucus, the Black Legislative Caucus, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.

For more information, please call Jennifer Wichmann, Ricardo Lopez-Guerra or Kelvin Bass at 214-467-0123 or 512-463-0123.