Friday, October 07, 2005

Congressional Waiver Reduces Share of Katrina Contracts Going To Minority-Owned Businesses

Minority-owned businesses say they're paying the price for a decision by Congress and the Bush administration to waive certain rules for Hurricane Katrina recovery contracts.

The result has been far more no-bid contracts going to businesses that have an existing relationship with the government. For example, instead of receiving the 5 percent normally required of federal contract work, minority-owned businesses have received about 1.5 percent of the $1.6 billion awarded by FEMA.

The Department of Labor and FEMA each have said that they suspended affirmative action rules for first-time government contractors doing Katrina work to reduce paperwork and to speed emergency aid.

But the Army Corps of Engineers gave 16 percent of its $637 million in Katrina contracts to minority-owned companies, according to agency records. Hmmm.

Isn't it possible that the Republican-led Congress, Labor Department and FEMA are buying into the spin that you can't have a fair and fast bidding for Katrina contracts?

That may be decided by the Government Accountability Office. On Oct. 4, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL) asked the GAO to investigate whether small and minority-owned businesses have been given a fair opportunity to compete for Katrina contracts.


The waiver on affirmative action rules coincided with a suspension of a "prevailing wage" law that black lawmakers and business people believe will hurt the disproportionately large number of black hourly workers.

Harry Alford, the president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, told the Associated Press that the waivers are sending are a bad message. "What they're basically saying to the minority in New Orleans is: 'We'll make it harder for you to find a job. And if you do, we'll make sure you get paid less.'"


Blogger CSC5502D said...

So what?

I don't care who owns the business as long as they get the job done at the price they bid and the job is done right.

Other than that, who cares?

If all white businesses get it, so what?
If all black businesses get it, so what?

And you guys are always saying how we're all the same, lol.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

This all makes one curious as to how minorities will vote in 2006 and 2008. After all, increasing numbers of minorities have been voting Republican over the last 10 years or so and yet, the GOP seems intent on rewarding loyalty with economic biggotry or, at the least, ignorance of the cost of ignorance. While the Democrats may not be perfect, they at least fight to protect the rights of others. The GOP merely sets out to destroy the rights of others at the convenience of their agenda and political allies.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

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8:01 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous John Anderson said...

This is a perfect example of racism in the U.S. Five pidily, stinking percent and that is too much to give to the minority groups. How selfish that the majority wants the WHOLE loaf of bread

7:00 PM  

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