Forms of Affirmative Action

Affirmative actions can take different forms. Often affirmative actions are written into federal or state law. They can also take the form of voluntary plans or consent decrees. Occasionally, although rarely these days, a court will impose an affirmative action plan to remedy the effects of past discrimination.

Although affirmative action has been employed in the private sector, its use has been most pronounced in the public sector, in regard to both hiring and contract requirements. Affirmative action has been broadly used across a wide spectrum of federal, state, and municipal governments.

Samples of Affirmative Action at the Federal Level are as follows:

Department of Defense: Strives to award five percent of Department of Defense procurement, research and development, construction, operation and maintenance contracts to minority businesses and institutions.

Federal Home Loan Banks: Provides for preservation and expansion of minority owned banks.

Department of State: Mandates at least 10 percent of amount of funds appropriated for Department of State and foreign affairs diplomatic construction projects be allocated to American minority contractors.

NASA: Requires NASA administrator to establish annual goal of at least eight percent of total value of prime contracts and subcontracts awarded to be made to small disadvantaged businesses and minority educational institutions.

FCC: Must ensure that minority- and women-owned businesses have opportunity to participate in providing spectrum-based services.

Department of Energy: Works to achieve five percent of combined total funds of Department of Energy used to carry out national security programs be allocated to minority businesses and institutions.

Department of Energy: Strives for five percent of combined total funds of Department of Energy used to carry out national security programs be allocated to minority businesses and institutions.

Department of Transportation: Requires that not less than 10 percent of funds appropriated under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 be expended on small and minority businesses.

Environmental Protection Agency: Must allocate no less than 10 percent of federal funding to minority businesses for research relating to requirements of Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Samples of Affirmative Action at the State Level are as follows:

ARKANSAS: Requires Division of Minority Business Enterprise to develop plans and participation goals for minority businesses.

CONNECTICUT: Mandates that contractors on state public works contracts make good faith efforts to employ minority businesses as subcontractors and suppliers, allows municipalities to set aside up to 25 percent of dollar amount of construction and supply contracts to award to minority businesses.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Requires District of Columbia agencies to allocate 35 percent of dollar amount of public construction contracts to minority businesses.

FLORIDA: Allows municipalities to set aside up to 10 percent of dollar amount of contracts for procurement of personal property and services to award to minority businesses.

ILLINOIS: Requires Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority to establish goals of awarding not less than 25 percent of dollar amount of contracts to minority contractors and not less than five percent to women contractors.

INDIANA: Requires that state agencies establish goal that five percent of all contracts awarded be given to minority businesses.

KANSAS: Allows Secretary of Transportation to designate certain state highway construction contracts, or portions of contracts, to be set aside for bidding by disadvantaged businesses only.

LOUISIANA: Requires establishment of annual participation goals for awarding contracts for goods and services and public works projects to minority- and women-owned businesses.

MARYLAND: Requires that Maryland award 14 percent of dollar amount of procurement contracts to minority businesses.

MICHIGAN: Establishes participation goals for awarding of government contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses.

NEW JERSEY: Allows municipalities to set aside certain percentage of dollar value of contracts to award to minority businesses.

NEW YORK: Allows municipalities to set aside certain percentage of dollar value of contracts to award to minority businesses.

OHIO: Provides that a prime contractor on a state contract must award subcontracts totaling no less than five percent of the total value of the contract to Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and that the total value of both the materials purchased from MBE’s and of the subcontracts awarded will equal at least seven percent of the total value of the contract.

TENNESSEE: Requires all state agencies to actively solicit bids from small businesses and minority-owned businesses whenever possible. Local education agencies and state colleges and universities may set aside up to 10 percent of their funds allocated for procurement of personal property and services for the purpose of entering into contracts with small businesses and minority-owned businesses.


Inside Forms of Affirmative Action