A City Council committee will hold a public hearing Friday on a bill to require the District government to give small businesses here preferential treatment in landing some city contracts.
The hearing on the bill, which was proposed by Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8) and cosponsored by 10 other council members, is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the District Building council chambers.
The bill, which is before the government operations committee, would require the Minority Business Opportunity Commission to establish rules for determining eligibility for the small businesses and to recommend how the contracting program would work.
Under Rolark's bill, wholesale firms with annual sales of $5 million would be excluded, as would construction firms with an average of $5 million in receipts over three years.
Retail businesses that exceed $1 million in annual sales or receipts also would be ineligible under the provisions of the bill.
The commission would be required to submit an annual report on the effect of the law.
The commission currently certifies whether minority firms or joint ventures qualify for contracts under the city's $150 million-a-year set-aside program for minority-controlled enterprises.
Although 35 percent of the city's contracts are supposed to be set aside for minorities under the current program, several council members and other city leaders have complained that little information is provided by the commission about which companies are actually benefiting from the law.
Aides to Mayor Marion Barry have said the city's computers are not programmed to give individual companies identification numbers to compile such information, although the city's central SHARE computer was designed with that capability. Officials said individual contractors doing business with the city may not have uniform identification numbers until this fall at the earliest.
Last year's mayoral campaigns--or at least the cost of them--are still on the minds of three members of the council who were among the unsuccessful candidates against Barry.
Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large) is scheduled to host a fund-raiser tonight to help retire a small campaign debt left over from her unsuccessful run for mayor and subsequent reelection to the City Council.
The two-hour wine and cheese party is to be held at the Woman's National Democratic Club on New Hampshire Avenue NW.
John L. Ray (D-At Large), who is up for reelection next year, held a fund-raiser that brought in about $12,000 last winter, roughly cutting in half the debt left over from his own mayoral campaign.
Ray is expected to put together another event next month.
Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) said that her small campaign debt has been virtually wiped out by two fund-raisers and that she probably will hold at least one more.