ARTBA emphasized the need for better accuracy in Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) data and enhanced training for those firms during an October 20 DBE roundtable discussion hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Civil Rights. Attendees included trade organizations, DBE attorneys, businesses participating in the DBE program and representatives from state and local governments. Many ARTBA members have reported a continual disconnect between DBE certification lists and actual DBE firms that are available to participate on transportation construction projects. At this recent meeting and elsewhere, ARTBA has underscored the importance of state departments of transportation maintaining more accurate information on DBE availability in a given market, which can affect DBE goal-setting for that area. ARTBA has also advocated real-world training for current and prospective DBE firms so they can function as viable subcontractors on these projects. ARTBA will continue to maintain a dialogue with U.S. DOT officials on how to most effectively administer the DBE program and is also currently working on a summary of recently enacted changes to DBE regulations.
For more information on ARTBA’s DBE policy activities, contact Nick Goldstein.