Study designed to encourage more diversification in awarding of city contracts

ALEXANDRIA, La. (WNTZ) — Officials will report the findings of a disparity study during the Alexandria City Council’s Economic, Workforce and Planning Development Committee meeting, scheduled for 3:50 p.m. today in Alexandria Convention Hall.

The study, launched in June of 2020, was conducted by Keen Independent Research, a national economic consulting firm, to gather data about marketplace conditions and to identify any disparities with City contracting.

“We conducted this survey to identify opportunities to diversify the pool of local businesses applying for city contracts and to ensure we have a level playing field when it comes to obtaining contracts for city projects,” explained Mayor Jeff Hall. “I want to thank the research team members for their hard work, and I thank the local businesses that participated and shared information.”

To conduct the study, Keen personnel conducted interviews, focus groups, surveys and town hall meetings with local business owners and the public. Kenneth Nolley, internal auditor for the City of Alexandria, said, “We will review the data as well as the recommendations of the study team and use that information as we move forward to ensure we are giving as many local businesses – small and large – an opportunity to compete for and receive city contracts.”

Study Team

Keen Independent Research is a national economic consulting firm. Annette Humm Keen and David Keen, firm Principals, serves as leads on this assignment. They previously completed disparity studies for the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans and completed a similar survey for Caddo Parish in April. Mr. Keen has served as an expert witness successfully defending targeted business programs in court.

The study team included Louisiana-based Charbonnet & Associates Planners & Consultants and Spears Group. Customer Research International performed the surveys while Holland & Knight provided legal consultation.