By Bob Katzen

The House approved Gov. Baker’s proposal that would make the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) an independent agency and transfer it from the Operational Services Division to the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

“This legislation … establishes the SDO as an independent agency,” said the governor in a message he filed along with the measure. “This transfer will empower the SDO to be more responsive to the needs of minority, women, veteran, service-disabled veteran, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and disability-owned businesses as well as small Massachusetts businesses, and increase opportunities for these types of businesses to seek certification, information about supplier diversity programs, training, technical assistance and capacity-building services.

Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight said the transfer will reestablish SDO’s authority and provide more meaningful inter-agency access. “That access is critical to the office’s mission of assisting diverse and small businesses throughout the commonwealth,” continued Pacheco. “This legislation will ensure that the office has the ability to report back trends and data that help identify issues and inform policy decisions. I look forward to its implementation for better administrative oversight and collaboration across the various agencies.”

The transfer still needs Senate approval in order for it to go into effect.

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