Virginia Agency Sued for Discrimination

E&E Enterprises Global, Inc., a minority-owned government contractor, has filed suit against the Virginia Department of Education for discrimination in the agency’s solicitation for services under Gov. Mark R. Warner’s “Education For A Lifetime” initiative. The suit alleges that the agency discriminated against E&E by requiring the firm to fulfill requirements that not required of the non-minority bidder, and disqualified E&E once it was apparent that E&E was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.

A 2003 disparity study commissioned by the Commonwealth reported that the Commonwealth awarded only $34.4 million out of nearly $8 billion on minority-owned businesses from July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2002 — less than 0.44% of its total spending. Statistics for the Virginia Department of Education for this same period show that the agency awarded over $75 million in contracts to non-minority-owned businesses compared to awarding only $17,000 in contracts to minority-owned businesses. Read the press release.

Any comment, Will?

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


  1. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Based on those disparity study figures from 2003 (I take issue with them, but leave that aside), one would have to conclude that there must be discrimination against minority vendors.

    Surprisingly, though, this is the first lawsuit alleging procurement discrimination that I’ve seen. And, on the surface, this is a little different situation–the minority firm apparently did get the contract initially, so the discrimination does not appear to be denial of access, the point of the disparity study.

    I have always maintained that any discrimination must be rooted out, so I will watch this lawsuit with interest and see if it spawns others.

  2. Fredrik Nyman Avatar
    Fredrik Nyman

    I think that factoids like “awarded only $34.4 million out of nearly $8 billion on minority-owned businesses” are meaningless and often misleading.

    The $8 billion consists of numerous contracts. We need to know both how many of these contracts that minority firms bid on. We also need to know in how many cases the minority firm was the lowest responsive bidder.

  3. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Exactly. The ol’ “lies, damn lies and statistics” phenomenon. As Will V. has noted on many occasions, the Warner administration has bent over backwards trying to solicit minority participation in government procurement. And we’re expected to believe that the Department of Education, the hotbed of multiculturalism worship, was engaged in discrimination? That’s hard to believe, although you never know until you see all the facts.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    The lawsuit was bogus. The federal judge tossed it out of court because there was no evidence of discrimination, and E&E Enterprises did not even bother to appeal. E&E owes the Commonwealth and the Department of Education an apology for its false allegations of discrimination.

Leave a Reply