Three relatively large minority large minority firms - including one 25-year-old Virginia firm run by a Spanish immigrant - accounted for two-thirds of all the money awarded to minority construction businesses by the D. G. government in fiscal year 1576, according to figures from the city's Department of General Services.
The firms, Roubin & Janeiro, Jones & Artis Construction Co. and Tyroc Construction Corp., said to be among the largest minority construction firms in the area, accounted for about $4.2 million-worth of D. C. projects - or 66.6 per cent of the money awarded to minority contractors in the 15-month period, according to an analysis of the city's contract awards.
However, the total amount of money spent on construction contracts with minority firms appeared to be relatively low about $6.4 million of a total of $138.9 million, or 4.6 per cent. The city has recently set for itself - in legislation passed by the Council, signed by the Mayorand pending before Congress - a goal of 25 per cent participation in city contracts by minority business.
The figures are based on an analysis of about 200 contract awards by the city's Department of General Services, the D. C. Department of Transportation and the city's Department of Environmental Services from July 1, 1975, to Sept. 30, 1976. (Because of a change in the beginning of the city's fiscal year, fiscal year 1976 ran for 15 months instead of 12.)
Although the city's Department of Housing an COmmunity Development also has began makin contruction contract awards, the contact awards resviewed accounted for the bulk of fiscal 1976 contracts, city officials said.
No office in the District government appears to monitor closely how well minority contractors do in bidding for a share of the city's business. The Department of General Services refers inquiries on the subject to the Office of Human Rights, and the Office of Human Right's figures are based on about half the total amount awarded in construction contracts.
OHR, charged under an executive order with reviewing the city's minority contracting performances, receives reports from contracting agencies an periodically reviews them, said A. Franklin Anderson, deputy director. "I really haven't had any reason to believe we weren't getting them all."
The 4.6 per cent figure appears to be an improvement over the District's previous perfermance on minority contracting. A Washington Post analysis of contracting data in 1974, showed that the District awarded 1.9 per cent of the dollar value of its construction contracts to minority firms during a 21-month period ending Sept. 30, 1974.
At the same time, however, OHR produced figures on contracts it had reviewed during a six month period that showed the city awarding 4.9 per cent of its contracts to minority firms. Based on their partial analysis, they asserted then that "total involvement of minority firms in D. C. government construction contracts can be expected to be as high as 10 per cent or more at the present time."
Neither OHR nor General Services compile any data on subcontracting.
The three firms that apparently accounted for most of the money spent with minority contractors are "the only ones with significant bonding capability (insurance that the job will be completed) that allows them to bid on the bigger jobs," according to Susan Strauss, associate director of the Minority Contractors Resource Center.
Of the three, Roubin & Janeiro, accounted for about 43 per cent of the money spent with minority contractors in the 15-month period. The company, with about 150 employees and about $6 million in contracts annually specializes in concrete and stone masonry.
The president of the company is Angel S. Roubin, who moved to the United States from Galicia, Spain, in 1951. A stonemason, he worked his way up from a construction laborer to foreman to construction superintendent before founding the company with his cousin in 1961.
Jones & Artis, with reported sales of more than $3 million and Tyroc, are both black-owned construction and paving firms. Contracts awards show Jones & Artis collecting $1.2 million in fiscal 1976, and Tyroc awarded $329,742.