Set Asides Set Aside?
A federal court decision last week that tossed out federal requirements for set-aside contracts at the Pentagon for disadvantaged businesses could undermine one of the government's key contracting goals: to help small businesses thrive.
That's according to a story by Elizabeth Newell in GovernmentExecutive.com.
"The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Rothe Development Corp. v. Department of Defense and Department of the Air Force stated that the government did not have sufficient evidence of 'pervasive, nationwide racial discrimination' by Defense to justify a race-based contracting preference program. Procurement and legal analysts argued that the rationale could be applied to minority contracting programs and the women's procurement program governmentwide.
"'The decision itself is limited, but I definitely think there will be future cases that quote this case as precedent where they try to make the argument that it applies in a broader way,'" said Robert Burton, former deputy administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and now a partner at the Washington law firm Venable. "'I think it's pretty clear the case will be cited as precedent for striking down other preference categories.'"
At issue is a 1986 legislative provision that established the 5 percent set-aside target for defense spending. The appeals court said the provision violates equal protection guarantees in the Fifth Amendment.
This could be a big deal. Stay tuned for more.
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Posted by: simonsaid | November 13, 2008 8:25 AM
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