Athens-Clarke County Disparity Study

The Athens-Clarke County (“Unified Government”) has completed a disparity study, conducted by MGT Consulting Group. The Disparity Study evaluated the absence or presence of discrimination in contracting by the Unified Government, and how that relates to implementing an affirmative action program in public contracting. 

In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co that the City’s Minority Business Utilization Plan was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. This landmark case established that state and local race-based programs must uphold “strict scrutiny,” which recognized the following:

  • The governmental entity must show that racial classification is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling governmental interest.
  • A race-based remedial program may be created to rectify the effects of identified, systemic, past racial discrimination within its jurisdiction.

The study included the analysis of contract and purchasing data between July 1, 2017 (FY17) through June 30, 2021 (FY21) for the Construction, Architectural and Engineering, Other Services, Professional Services, and Goods industries. The data collected include qualitative or anecdotal data provided by business owners and area trade associations and business organizations.

The final report includes the methodology for quantitative and qualitative data analysis and recommendations to address the findings of disparity and discrimination.

Final Disparity Study presentation, Mayor & Commission Work Session (August 8, 2023)