Bias against minorities, women continues to plague state contracting

Two decades after Missouri set its first goals for state contracts with businesses owned by minorities and women, the state’s contracting program continues to be affected by “discrimination on a basis of race and gender,” according to a study released by the Office of Administration last month.

The study found that obstacles such as perceived incompetency, large contract bundles and limited access to financing keep smaller firms owned by women and minorities from participating. Meanwhile, companies that have previously worked on state projects continue to land the bulk of state contracts.

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