The White House has sent a memo to general counsels throughout the government proposing new rules for all federal departments that would require proof of discrimination before awarding race-based government contracts and would limit such contracting. The rules would disallow strict set-aside rules that designate specific numbers of minority contracts, and such "race-conscious" procurement would only be allowed after credible evidence of discrimination is found by a "disparity study."
Last year, President Clinton called for a review of all affirmative action programs, pledging to "mend not end" them. He said affirmative action programs were necessary because of ongoing discrimination, but said he would overhaul them.
Media Resources: The Washington Post - March 7, 1996