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Houston City Council Green Lights Study On Disparity In Public Contracts

It will analyze the accessibility minority and women-owned companies have to do business with the local government.

The study on disparity aims to analyze the accessibility of minority and women-owned companies to do business with the City of Houston in fields such as construction.
The study on disparity aims to analyze the accessibility of minority and women-owned companies to do business with the City of Houston in fields such as construction.

The Houston City Council gave the green light Wednesday to a study that will analyze how many businesses and companies owned by minorities and women are getting City contracts.

The last comprehensive study of this type was done in 2006, when Bill White was Mayor.

It analyzed three years-worth of City contracts.

One conclusion was that companies owned by White males received over 80 percent of contracts related to construction.

Hispanic and African-American-owned companies received five and three percent of those contracts, respectively.

The new study will cover the last five years and analyze the City’s contracting process.

“The study is actually looking at minority and women businesses and how they’ve participated in City of Houston contracts and whether or not there have been barriers to doing business with the City of Houston,” notes Carlecia Wright, director of the Office of Business Opportunity for the City of Houston.

The study will be conducted by Colette Hold & Associates, a Chicago-based company that specializes in affirmative action and contract compliance.

The City will pay close to one million dollars for the study, which has to be done in part because of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court ruled that cities that want to cultivate businesses owned by women and minorities must provide evidence there’s a need for such programs.

Wright expects the study will be ready sometime around the end of next year.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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