A Manhattan federal jury has convicted Canadian contractor DCM Erectors and its owner Larry Davis for minority- and woman-owned (MWBE) business fraud during the execution of almost $1 billion of steel work at the Freedom Tower and World Trade Center Transportation Hub projects, according to Reuters.
Prosecutors alleged that DCM and Davis enlisted two minority firms to be administrative fronts on the projects while DCM, trying to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars to minority firms, did all the work itself.
Until the 1970’s, federal procurement dollars virtually bypassed Minority and Women-owned businesses. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon signed executive orders to increase women and minority participation in the US public contracting market.
President Carter’s Public Works Employment Act of 1977 mandated for the first time that “at least 10% of federal funds granted for local public work projects” be used to procure services and products from MWBEs.
Cities and states have long since joined in, seeking to level the playing field via mandate, legislation, and compliance enforcement. BUT: all of these efforts have lacked effective tools & technologies to match opportunities with diverse businesses that are ready, willing, and able to work. As a result, inefficiencies and fraud like that at NYC's sacred Freedom Tower cheat diverse businesses out of their fair share of economic opportunity.
@veracloudtech we’ve built our technology platform to efficiently enable private contractors to better collaborate with diverse businesses to fuel greater access, opportunity and inclusion in public sector contracting work. When barriers are broken down, the market becomes stronger, competition ensues, and tangible progress is made on critical issues: diversity, access, financial inclusion, economic opportunity, and ongoing support for diverse businesses across the US.