Cite as: 515 U. S. 200 (1995)
Opinion of the Court
"Subcontracting. This subsection is supplemented to include a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Development and Subcontracting Provision as follows:
"Monetary compensation is offered for awarding subcontracts to small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. . . .
"A small business concern will be considered a DBE after it has been certified as such by the U. S. Small Business Administration or any State Highway Agency. Certification by other Government agencies, counties, or cities may be acceptable on an individual basis provided the Contracting Officer has determined the certifying agency has an acceptable and viable DBE certification program. If the Contractor requests payment under this provision, the Contractor shall furnish the engineer with acceptable evidence of the subcontractor(s) DBE certification and shall furnish one certified copy of the executed subcontract(s).
. . . . . "The Contractor will be paid an amount computed as follows:
"1. If a subcontract is awarded to one DBE, 10 percent of the final amount of the approved DBE subcon-tract, not to exceed 1.5 percent of the original contract amount.
"2. If subcontracts are awarded to two or more DBEs, 10 percent of the final amount of the approved DBE sub-contracts, not to exceed 2 percent of the original contract amount." App. 24-26.
To benefit from this clause, Mountain Gravel had to hire a subcontractor who had been certified as a small disadvantaged business by the SBA, a state highway agency, or some other certifying authority acceptable to the contracting officer. Any of the three routes to such certification described above—SBA's 8(a) or 8(d) program, or certification by a State
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