WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced a bill directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine contracting disparities for minority-owned (MBE) and women owned (WBE) small business enterprises under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“Throughout the past year, a growing number of MBEs and WBEs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have contacted me regarding the disparity of contracts awarded under ARRA,” said Senator Casey. “In order to determine how to address these disparities, I urge the GAO to conduct a study to further examine this issue.”
Senator Casey also sent a letter today to Earl E. Devaney, Chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, regarding the issue of contacting disparities under ARRA.
In the letter, Senator Casey cites a study at the Kirwan Institute at The Ohio State University as evidence that MBEs and WBEs are not receiving equal access to contracts under ARRA. The study shows that as of May 7, 2010 only 3% of ARRA contracts have been awarded to black-owned businesses, 4.1% to Latino-owned businesses and 9.3% to businesses owned by women.