Documenting Disparity in Minority Contracting: Legal Requirements and Recommendations for Policy-Makers

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The challenge of advancing policy goals and public administration is compounded when legal compliance rests on data and complex analysis. This is true of disparity studies that support local government-sponsored minority contracting programs. How can local governments prepare to work with such programs in this complex environment? The authors analyze several court cases challenging minority contracting programs and illustrate the difficulty of administering public programs at the juncture of public policy goals, subtle changes in law, and demands for quality statistical analysis. Many public agencies, especially at the local level, are not prepared to address the data requirements demanded by these programs. To help with this challenge, the authors develop a set of guiding principles to help practitioners satisfy the legal requirements and meet the policy goals of minority contracting and similar programs. This includes a new emphasis on continuous gathering of valid, local-level data.

"Documenting Disparity in Minority Contracting: Legal Requirements and Recommendations for Policy-Makers," (with Heather Martin and Maureen M. Berner) in Public Administration Review, May/June 2007, Vol. 67, No. 3, 10 p. Recipient of the 2007 ASPA Louis Brownlow Award
Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles
Topics - Local and State Government