At-large council member John Ray was quoted in The Post as stating that "abuse in road construction projects ... allow some contractors to reap profits of 100 percent on some street resurfacing jobs" {news story, July 24}. This inaccurate accusation reveals a lack of understanding of both the contracting process and the law. Moreover, it adds his voice to that of those who would destroy affirmative action for minority contractors in the Washington area and across America.

Bids for street repair in the District are nearly always (barring emergency situations) sealed bids that must be turned in by a published date and time. Even if a bidder is one minute late, that bid is rejected in order to protect the integrity of the bidding process. Any contractor dealing with the D.C. Department of Public Works will confirm that department officials and the procurement process are as clean and free from impropriety as those in any procurement agency in the United States. Moreover, the system of publicly opening sealed bids at a specified date and time, to which any and all bidders are invited, guarantees honest expenditure of public monies.

Here are some of the facts:

Most street work in the District is performed by minority contractors.

All contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. It means that the contract is for a fixed price and a designated time of completion.

Minority contractors perform only about 1 percent of all work in the lucrative $4 billion annual construction market in the metropolitan D.C. area.

We hope that all who run for public office would check the record regarding publicly awarded contracts before making allegations that have no foundation. We would also hope that the sources of unattributed and unsolicited remarks be carefully scrutinized before they are used for attacks charging improprieties.

EDWARD L. NELSON President, D.C. Contractors Association EDUARDO PERDOMO President, Latin American Contractors Association Washington