Discrimination persists in Missouri’s public contracting

Racial and gender discrimination continue to affect Missouri's issuance of government construction contracts, according to a study the state's Office of Administration released Monday.

The study, commissioned by Gov. Jay Nixon in fiscal 2011 and funded by the General
Assembly in 2014, aimed to review the state's inclusion of minority- and women-owned business enterprises in the issuance of government contracts awarded between July 2007 and June 2013 as well as make recommendations on how the process can be improved to increase inclusion. Consulting firm Colette Holt & Associates of Oakland, Calif., conducted the study.

The firm reviewed $3 billion worth of state contracts and determined that only about 22.7 percent went to minority- and women-owned business enterprises. The study found substantive discrimination against companies owned by Hispanics, native Americans and white women, as well as minority- and women-owned business enterprises as a whole.

"These results support the inference that barriers based on race and gender continue to impede opportunities on state projects for each racial and ethic minority group," the study said.

Read the full article here

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