Friday, April 12, 2013

WASHINGTON TIMES | Minority contractors ‘game the system,’ find havens in D.C. homes

Yesterday the Washington Times posted two stories focused on alleged Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) fraud. Go HERE to read the full story by Luke Rosiak and Jeffrey Anderson. FYI -- the 3125 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE address is located in Congress Heights.

You wouldn't know it from the curb, but a three-bedroom Colonial on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast houses 12 businesses, all set up to receive contracts from Washington, D.C., under minority-contracting rules. 
The house at 3215 MLK Jr. Ave. is the site of Congress Heights Community Training & Development Corp., but it also serves as a haven for small businesses many of which appear to be based outside the District that have received $3.5 million from the D.C. government in the past three years alone. 
The District's laws to promote fairness among local, small and minority-owned businesses, known as Certified Business Enterprises, or CBEs, allow some to "game the system," said Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who is calling for reform. 
Nearly 40 percent of the city's 1,200 CBEs share a location with other CBEs, according to data analyzed by The Washington Times, and a close look raises questions about whether occupants are actually based in the city and whether they are receiving public contracts without ever lifting a shovel or manufacturing a good.

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