Tallahassee Minority Business Enterprise Program Flaws

By: Danielle Sommerfeld Email
By: Danielle Sommerfeld Email

A new preliminary audit shows the Tallahassee Minority Business Enterprise Program is overlooking two key minority groups.

WCTV Eyewitness News and its partner Tallahasseereports.com, have exclusively obtained a preliminary audit of the City's Vendor Incentives Program.

"The audit says that the city just considers African-Americans and women as minorities and does not afford any privilege status to any Asians or Hispanics," says Steve Stewart.

It is what's inside the 61 page audit that is raising some red flags.

The report says the program's structure and operation is outdated and likely does not comply with the United States Supreme Court rulings.

Steve Stewart is the publisher for the investigative reporting website and he says that is just one of the problems the program faces.

"They haven't published an annual report since 2006 and it's part of their MBE policy to do that, "says Stewart.

The report also shows city staff reduced their on-site compliance visits from about 100 visits a year in 2009 to just 2 in 2010.

City officials say the audit is a step in the right direction.

"Out of this will come an action plan where we say here are the areas identified that need improvement and here is what we are going to do to improve this," says Michelle Bono.

According to Stewart, a formal response from City Manager Anita Favors was requested on February 15th, but Favors has yet to respond.

To get your own copy of the preliminary report check out: www.tallahasseereports.com


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