The Cook County Board on Thursday approved revisions to the county's procurement code that will strengthen future participation of minority- and women-owned businesses, and crack down on fraudulent activity, a statement said.
"These changes will enhance our ability to hold contractors who skirt the law accountable, while giving worthy M/WBEs greater opportunities to do business with Cook County," President Toni Preckwinkle said.
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The changes establish new penalties for prime contractors who fail to meet contractual commitments to hire minority- and women-owned businesses.
Companies that fail to meet participation goals may be required to pay the difference between their contractual goal and the amount of the goal they reached.
Also, contractors who falsify their minority- or women-owned business participation or status could be fined $2,500 and disqualified from county contracts for up to five years.