Mayor Sandy Stimpson officially announced the establishment of a new administrative position Wednesday afternoon — Chief Procurement Officer — almost a week after Chief of Staff Colby Cooper proposed the idea to the City Council’s Administrative Services Committee.
Once filled, the new position will be responsible for streamlining and simplifying a decentralized procurement process for Mobile. Additionally, the position will be responsible for developing a supplier diversity program to help minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises overcome challenges that make it more difficult to win contracts and work for the city, according to a statement from Stimpson’s office.
“I made a commitment to the citizens of Mobile that I would advocate for efficient and effective government,” Stimpson said at a press conference. “If you are a minority, woman or disadvantaged business enterprise, the city of Mobile is working to improve your access to the procurement process and city contracts.”
Stimpson said he would not yet name candidates for the position, but added that he’d like to find a qualified person with experience in supplier diversity programs “as soon as possible.” When asked how much the executive-level position would garner in salary, Stimpson said the appointee “would make more than the mayor.”
Larry Dorsey, of Dorsey and Dorsey engineering firm, said the move wouldn’t be a step down in quality, but rather a step up for the community.
“We do quality work,” he said.
Dorsey was recently awarded a city contract for the engineering work on a litter trap on Dog River. He said previous to that he had not done any work for the city in 17 years of business. He said he had worked all over the country, but not in Mobile.
Stimpson stopped short of saying the move was his office’s reaction to a $30,000 disparity study the city commissioned. The study found disparity in the awarding of city contracts to women and minority owned businesses. Stimpson said some of the findings in that study were “disturbing.”