Highway Contracts:

Federal-Aid Highway Contracts Awarded to Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

RCED-89-78: Published: Feb 13, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO analyzed the impact of a recent legislative change to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHwA) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) focusing on construction opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses.

GAO reviewed FHwA DBE program contract award data and found that: (1) the data was too limited to adequately assess the program impact of the legislative changes; (2) minority and women-owned businesses received over $1.5 billion annually in DBE awards during fiscal years 1985 through 1986; (3) DBE program awards to women-owned businesses increased from 19.4 percent in 1985 to 29.6 percent in 1988; (4) DBE awards to other minority groups declined in 1987 and the beginning of 1988; (5) the number of DBE contracts awarded to women-owned businesses increased in Georgia, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania, but decreased in California; and (6) nationally, women-owned businesses' share of the DBE awards increased in 33 states, decreased in 17 states, and remained the same in 2 states.

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