In today’s federal contracting news, white female business owners in Washington are reportedly threatening legal action after an April 2013 study found they do not qualify as disadvantaged. Millions of dollars in highway contract set-asides through the U.S. Department of Transportation are at stake as Washington’s department of transportation is seeking a waiver to exclude white women from the federal disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program.
The independently commissioned disparity study found that:
…Caucasian women-owned firms actually received more contract dollars than expected, given their availability for work. Lacking evidence of discrimination against Caucasian women-owned businesses in the local marketplace, WSDOT cannot include them in contract-specific DBE goals.
Public comments on the state agency’s decision are being accepted through February 3. After that, the waiver will be submitted to U.S. DOT for a final decision.