Beyond the Rhetoric The Back End of D.C. Minority 'Fronting'
Harry C. Alford | 9/13/2012, 11:39 a.m.
The frustrated minority may be tempted to go to District officials, but that has too many risks. Officials really don't want to hear about anything that might decrease the listed minority participation. Plus, there is too much dirty business to clean up such as fraud and a cancellation of a much needed project. If the minority firm files a lawsuit, the big, bad majority firm will laugh, kick him all the way off the project and order his lawyers to let the case languish in court for years.
Regardless of how you look at it, this is not business development. It is predatory, deceptive and both misleading and costly to the public. District officials are not powerless when it comes to ending this fraud.
Today, there are more than a few very large White owned construction companies living outside of the District who are having a field day running this fronting scheme. I know of one minority firm that has done three different joint venture agreements, worth more than $130 million, with the same predatory firm (one for each of three different bids). He does about $2 million per year and the out of town majority firm averages $500 million. It is just impossible for this to really happen and someone within these District government offices should figure it out or confess to the shams. Better yet, end them now!
Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.