U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has great timing. The Pennsylvania senator is pushing for legislation that would help women- and minority-owned business. Casey has introduced two bills that would stop contractors from fraudlently adding these businesses to bids that aren’t fulfilled and additionally authorize procurement funding to the Minority and Business Development Agency.
As School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman is feeling pressure from all sides for awarding a no-bid contract to a minority-owned company, Casey is rallying for more rights for these businesses.
The bills cover several points, but focus on regulations and penalties for unfulfilled contracts. As Casey puts it, contractors often list women- or minority-owned businesses as subcontractors on bids without notifying those small businesses. When the contract is awarded, the contractor proceeds with the work unassisted. Aside from trying to prevent this from happening, Casey’s bills include penalities that range from a fine of 20 percent of the work to permanent prohibition on federal contracts.