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 OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Kiewit Construction Group Inc., parent of Kiewit Construction Co., said today that a Department of Justice suit filed last week alleging improprieties in its minority contracting activities is itself an attack on programs designed to promote and assist minority businesses in the construction industry.
 "The suit is misguided and is totally without merit. The government suit seeks to punish Kiewit for complying with both the letter and the spirit of laws intended to promote the successful development of minority business enterprises (MBEs)," said Kenneth Stinson, chairman and president of Kiewit Construction Group Inc.
 The Department of Justice suit alleges that the assistance which Kiewit gave to Seattle-based and minority-owned Global Construction seven years ago was "improper," Stinson said.
 "The assistance our company gave Global was neither prohibited by any statute or regulation and has been expressly authorized and encouraged by local programs and, subsequently, by Federal legislation involving the Department of Defense," said Stinson. "It is the same kind of support we provide to non-minority contractors so they can establish a record of performance which will help them develop their businesses and effectively compete in the construction industry.
 "Ironically, the Department of Justice believes that offering the same kind of help to an MBE is unlawful," Stinson asserted.
 Kiewit helped Global obtain competitively priced supplies and provided technical assistance on three projects in the state of Washington. Kiewit also referred qualified supervisory employees to Global for permanent hire and helped Global obtain credit. This assistance was provided to Global to help it overcome many of the barriers that minority firms face as they attempt to participate in government construction contracts.
 "The idea of getting minority and women businesses into construction is a laudable one, which we whole-heartedly support," Stinson said. "But the government must decide whether the program is to help disadvantaged minority construction firms develop and expand their businesses or whether the program is intended only for those who are not disadvantaged and do not need assistance. The current suit filed by the Justice Department attacks the very assistance needed by any small firm to grow and develop. The Justice Department suit will have a chilling effect on any assistance being given to minority businesses in the construction industry."
 -0- 10/19/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Chapman of Kiewit Construction Group, 402-271-2818/

CO: Kiewit Construction Group Inc.; Global Construction; Department
 of Justice ST: Nebraska, Washington IN: CST SU:

IC-JH -- SE021 -- 4270 10/19/93 19:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 19, 1993

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