A Federal Highway Administration investigation has determined that three Oregon contracting firms worked together to exploit a federal minority contracting program, and the Oregon Department of Transportation never noticed.
The firms – Bud Construction LLC, Emery and Sons Inc., and Salt and Pepper Construction Co. – “contrived a relationship” to meet Diversity Business Enterprise program requirements for a $35 million ODOT project on Oregon Route 217 that was completed in February, according to FHWA officials.
Emery and Sons used Salt and Pepper’s project involvement, which included supervision of trucking operations, to reach the project’s 6 percent DBE goal. But Bud Construction handled those operations instead, according to the FHWA. As a result, Salt and Pepper’s contribution was nullified, and Emery failed to meet DBE project requirements, the investigation concluded.
“It was pretty obvious what was going on,” FHWA spokesman Doug Hecox said. “Everyone around (the project) was pretty up front about it.”
Keep reading this article at: http://djcoregon.com/news/2012/09/12/federal-agency-finds-misuse-of-dbe-program-on-odot-project/