Over the years, the forces of intolerance have continued to thwart efforts to bring about economic inclusion and empowerment. From the Croson and Adarand cases, those who wish to stop Americans from participating in the US economy have used the legal system to stop an African y efforts at affirmative action.
Recently, as the US tried yet again to come to grips with its long history of Racism, these forces have again sought to thwart the efforts of the government to provide opportunities to minorities.
1. A group of white farmers have sued the USDA over its loan forgiveness program for farmers of color, claiming race based discrimination.
2. A group of business owners and advocates in Tennessee and Texas have sued the Small Business Administration (SBA) when it gave a 21-day exclusive application opportunity to minority restaurants under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. This is even though the data showed that less than 1% of SBA funds had been going to minority businesses.
3. A conservative group has filed a “reverse discrimination” lawsuit against the SEC over its board diversity proposal.
FSIC and its allies are organizing to find ways to combat these overtly racist activities. To combat this, we plan to: (1) draft Amicus briefs; (2) file lawsuits in places where minority businesses have been denied contracts or excluded, and (3) ask the Administration to deny federal funds from states who are discriminating against minorities.
To: Kevin Kimble, DC Bureau Chief
From: Charles Brooks, General Counsel
Date: July 9, 2021
The federal government has long attempted to implement policies to maximize procurement opportunities for small businesses owned and controlled by socially/economically disadvantaged individuals. In 1978 Congress amended the Small Business Act to require federal agencies to, among other things, negotiate annually in good faith with the Small Business Administration to establish prime and sub-contracting goals for these businesses.
The United States government created the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. A minority contractor can avail themselves of agency level protests, however such actions have a very low success rate. The Government Accountability Office typically provides the next level of intervention where “limited discovery” is allowed. The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires an issued result within 100 days of the submission process. The effects of such policies have not created a class of minority contractors who are consistently utilized for federal government contract work. Minority owned businesses do not receive their fair share of available contracting opportunities.
The SCLC seeks the expansive power of the federal government to protect minority contractors in states which demonstrate overt hostility to minority rights.
The overwhelming majority of minority owned businesses reside in the Southeast. The SCLC tracts the impediments to achieving parity in the contracting sphere to mirror the states which attempt to impose restrictions on minority voting opportunities.
Contractors hired under personal services contracts operate like government employees. The federal government reported spending about 1.5 billion on personal services contracts for FYs 2011-2015. The Air Force, Army, Navy and USAID together were responsible for most of the reported spending. The executive branch maintains the ability to enforce proper and proportional distribution of all federal contracts throughout the US. The SCLC proposes we emphasize compliance with equitable distribution of resources in states with large minority populations. Between January 1 and May 14, 2021, at least fourteen states enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to voting.
The executive branch can increase scrutiny in any of the 14 states without the participation of the legislative branch. The SCLC seeks an executive order to emphasize majority contracting compliance in any state which passed a new wave of voter restrictions.
Charles I. Brooks,
Nation’s Restaurant News