Federal agencies are inflating the number of economically-disadvantaged small businesses they say they’re contracting with, handing out more than $400 million to ineligible firms last year alone.

A report from the Small Business Administration’s inspector general found government agencies are collecting millions in credit for awarding contracts to firms that may not actually qualify for the funds they’re receiving.

Section 8(a) is a program designed to help small companies owned by disadvantaged women or minorities compete for government contracts.

Businesses that participate can remain in the program for up to nine years, at which point they are considered to have “graduated.”

Read more on WashingtonExaminer.com