David Dise Explains Procurement and Doing Business with Montgomery County

Posted Date: 
July 18, 2012

From left: Small Business Committee Co-chair Charles Atwell, Acting Manager of Business Relations and Compliance for Montgomery County Department of General Services Grace Denno, Director of Montgomery County Department of General Services David Dise, Vice-Chair of Small Business Committee Judy Stephenson, and Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Gigi Godwin 

Vice-Chair Judy Stephenson welcomed the committee and introduced David Dise, Director of the Montgomery County Department of General Services to offer insight into how businesses can procure with County government. Mr. Dise updated the Small Business Committee on the status of local government contracting in Montgomery County.

Mr. Dise set the backdrop for his address with a description of the tough economic conditions facing the County today. According to Dise, County spending has been down between $150-250 million over the past several years, and business has suffered from a 3-year local government purchasing freeze that has been lifted for FY2013. Despite the environment, the County’s Local Small Business Reserve Program (LSBRP), which mandates that 20% of contracting must be awarded to local businesses, contributed to an overall increase in County spending with local small businesses.

Dise gave a summary of events that the Department of General Services holds to promote small business growth. These events include monthly outreach meetings that are open to the public; a contract administrators’ forum, in which over 500 local contracting heads convene to hold an open discussion with businesses; and a proposal writing seminar that was held in March. Dise stressed the importance of proposal writing, explaining that, by law, he is required to award the contract not to the best company but to the company that offers the best proposal.

Mr. Dise also highlighted the Central Vendor Registration system that the county has in place. He urged all companies to sign up and to spread the word about it, because that is where all county departments look for potential contracting opportunities. Green Certified Businesses, a program which the County oversees in partnership with the Chamber will be given recognition of their status on this database and it will be part of the awarding criteria in the event of a tie.

Dise fielded questions from the committee on a myriad of procurement issues. Dise spoke about a new county rating system that is being implemented to allow companies to build a track record as a reference for use on future contracting bids. This system will incorporate ratings from suppliers, subcontractors as well as pertinent government agencies. After several questions about regulations, Dise expressed that his department also functions as internal advocate for businesses, serving companies who feel over-encumbered by county regulations.

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