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New Rules Proposed for Contracting

The White House has sent a memo to general counsels throughout the government proposing new rules for all federal departments that would require proof of discrimination before awarding race-based government contracts and would limit such contracting. The rules would disallow strict set-aside rules that designate specific numbers of minority contracts, and such “race-conscious” procurement would only be allowed after credible evidence of discrimination is found by a “disparity study.”

Last year, President Clinton called for a review of all affirmative action programs, pledging to “mend not end” them. He said affirmative action programs were necessary because of ongoing discrimination, but said he would overhaul them.

Sources:

The Washington Post - March 7, 1996

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