As criticism emerges surrounding a $758,000, no-bid contract the city of Cleveland awarded to a Texas company for a racial disparity study, The Plain Dealer asked UMBC professor George La Noue, political science and public policy, for his take on the situation. La Noue is director of the Project on Civil Rights and Public Contracting.
The newspaper says La Noue believes Cleveland’s study is the most expensive study to-date of a city’s race- and gender-based contracting programs and legitimate studies can be done for as little as $250,000. “Typically these studies overwhelm the cities’ capacity to understand them,” La Noue said. “They’re too long and complex. City Council members are not going to read them. A mayor is not going to have time. But it’s like buying an insurance policy. If you’ve spent enough money and have a long enough study, your program will stand up pretty well against a court challenge.”
La Noue went on to delineate what he perceives as flaws in the study’s methodology. Read the full article for details.