FEMA will rebid Katrina cleanup jobs

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration said Tuesday it would boost the number of contracts given to small and minority-owned businesses for Hurricane Katrina cleanup work, calling the amount now awarded too low.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would set aside an allotment for disadvantaged businesses following its announcement last week that it would rebid millions of dollars in contracts handed out with little or no competition.

The Commerce Department, meanwhile, announced a new information center and Web site to help smaller, disadvantaged firms get information about how to competitively bid for Katrina contracts.

The move follows criticism in recent weeks by minority businesses who said they were paying the price for the decision by Congress and the Bush administration to waive competition rules for many of the larger recovery contracts.


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