Equity in federal contracting: Examining the link between minority representation and federal procurement decisions

Craig R Smith, Sergio Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The federal government increasingly relies on nongovernmental organizations for procuring goods and services. This long-term trend presents a significant challenge for administrators because it risks the egalitarian values of democracy by further distancing administrative action from direct, participative, democratic oversight. The authors put forward a theory of representative bureaucracy as a way to reconcile democracy with the reality of the contemporary policy process in which unelected officials are the principal decision makers. The theory is tested in the domain of federal procurement, specifically within the contract award decisions of 60 federal agencies over three years. The authors argue that increased minority representation in leadership positions results in an increased proportion of federal contracts awarded to small minority-owned firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Administration Review
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

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equity
minority
democracy
bureaucracy
Federal Government
non-governmental organization
decision maker
leadership
firm
trend
Values
Equity
Contracting
Democracy
Minorities
Procurement
Representative bureaucracy
Proportion
Federal government
Decision maker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Cite this

Equity in federal contracting : Examining the link between minority representation and federal procurement decisions. / Smith, Craig R; Fernandez, Sergio.

In: Public Administration Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 87-96.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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