Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Financial Crisis Bailout Bill Waives Minority Contracting

In addition to being falsely blamed for sparking the Wall Street meltdown, now those same 'minorities' have been cut out of the contracting that will come out of the $840 bailout bill. We saw Congresswoman Maxine Water grilling Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about the minority contracting issue at the House hearings, but evidently the Congressional Black Caucus dropped the ball on this important matter. Here is what the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 says:

Title I, Section 107. Contracting Procedures.

Allows the Secretary to waive provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation where compelling circumstances make compliance contrary to the public interest. Such waivers must be reported to Congress within 7 days. If provisions related to minority contracting are waived, the Secretary must develop alternate procedures to ensure the inclusion of minority contractors

National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry Alford does not seem to have much faith in these 'alternate procedures.' In fact, Harry is furious about the waiver of minority contracting. And so are we. Harry knows that just as 'minorities' did not create the financial crisis, 'minorities' also, more often than not, get left out of contracting opportunities. We doubt Harry will be holding his breath for Henry to prove him wrong on this experience. (National Black Chamber of Commerce)

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