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Report shows city agency didn't accurately pay minority-owned businesses

A new report from Chicago's inspector general shows a city agency over-reported its contracts with minority and women-owned businesses.

The report found two issues with the Public Building Commission of Chicago. One, that the city agency overseeing construction projects didn't give up all the information Inspector General Joe Ferguson wanted, and, two, that the Building Commission over-reported by $40 million the amount paid to minority and women-owned businesses on 15 projects in 2009.

"We're talking about taxpayer money and there should be full accountability and accuracy in the reporting of how taxpayer money is being utilized," Ferguson said.

Ferguson does not allege the agency intentionally misreported the contracts, but he said the mayor, who oversees the building commission, should get involved.

A spokeswoman for the Public Building Commission did not immediately return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, Ald. Howard Brookins, who chairs the black caucus in city council, said he's frequently heard of minority-owned businesses struggling to get contracts with the city.

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