Small business owner. Photo courtesy Small Business Administration

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved recommendations to improve San Diego County’s business contracting process.

Based on a working group’s suggestions, the county will focus on greater diversity in contracting, including more veteran-owned and small businesses; simplifying the contracting process; removing barriers to participation; and better public accountability and compliance.

San Diego County currently spends $1.3 billion on over 3,200 contracts, according to a letter submitted by Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer, who said an upgrade in policy is needed because “it’s still too hard to do business with the county.”

For example, she said, it can take up to 75 days for county offices to process one contract.

Robbins-Meyer added that based on contractor feedback, the time frame for submitting a proposal is too short, while the award process is too long.

The working group comprised employees from the county’s Public Safety, Health and Human Services, Land Use and Environment, and Finance and General Government departments.

The working group also studied contracting procedures across the nation and audits from other regional governments, and surveyed customers, contracting staff and other stakeholders to come up with the recommendations.

— City News Service

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