Minority vendors were awarded more than $340 million in contracts to supply utilities in the state, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) announced July 9.
During the PSC daylong hearing, utility companies told PSC commissioner Harold Williams that not only did they meet their goal they exceeded their target for diversity contracts.
“It’s commendable that many companies are able to exceed their goals, which shows their commitment and interest in embracing the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),” Williams said in a statement.
The companies reporting to the PSC included 11 gas and electric companies, two transportation companies and two telecommunications companies. The reports detailed how utilities comply with statutory mandates to diversity their outsource material suppliers.
Of the $2.5 billion in procurement spending in 2012, $344 million, or 13.6 percent, went to minority suppliers, the commission said.
The total marked a modest decrease from the $387 million spent with minority suppliers in 2011, but still exceeded the $311 million target set by the commission.
Among the companies covered by the data were, Pepco, Columbia Gas, Verizon, Comcast and Baltimore Gas and Electric.
Williams said he would like to see the larger companies, in particular, work more diligently to meet their targets.
The goal of the diversity in suppliers was set 20 years ago in legislation forged by then-state legislators, the late Howard “Pete” Rawlings and Elijah Cummings who co-sponsored the legislation in 1992.
In a video statement displayed at the PSC hearing July 9, now-Rep. Cummings (D-Md.) called for more utilities to broaden involvement with minority suppliers.