PHOENIX — Nearly every month, the Arizona Department of Transportation awards contracts to companies specializing in design, construction, transit and other components of transportation projects throughout the state. Some of these companies are federally certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), which are small businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals. ADOT operates a DBE program to assist these firms with securing contracts that use U.S. Department of Transportation funds, and ADOT is currently seeking public input on its proposed goals for DBE participation in contracts for the next three years, along with public input on the results of a draft Disparity Study Report.
Every three years, ADOT must set an overall annual goal for the participation of DBEs. For federal fiscal years 2015 through 2017, ADOT is proposing a final goal of 8.90 percent of the total dollars of Federal Highway Administration-funded contracts awarded to DBE firms, with 5.00 percent to be achieved through race and gender conscious-neutral means (ADOT small business programs and other efforts) and 3.90 percent to be achieved through race and gender-conscious means (contract goals). ADOT is also proposing overall DBE goals for Federal Transit Administration contracts of 7.25 percent for federal fiscal years 2016-2018 and Federal Aviation Administration contracts of 4.87 percent for federal fiscal years 2017-2019, both of which to be met through race and gender-neutral means.
Recently, ADOT completed a draft Disparity Study Report that provides the data to support the DBE goals. The draft study provides analysis and results of the utilization and availability of minority- and women-owned firms — by race, ethnic and gender group — to determine whether there are disparities in the past utilization of those firms in ADOT and local public agency contracts. In addition, the study includes analysis of in-depth interviews with business owners, trade associations and others about their experiences related to the transportation contracting industry in Arizona.
Business representatives and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to comment on the size of the proposed overall DBE goals, the means proposed to achieve the goals and the results of the Disparity Study. ADOT would also like to receive public input on experiences competing for or working on ADOT projects, suggestions on how to improve contracting opportunities for DBEs and other small businesses, and what ADOT and the transportation industry can do to enhance support of the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.
Interested persons are encouraged to attend one of four public hearings in July. All public hearings will be held from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., with an ADOT presentation at 3:15. Time will be allotted to allow members of the public to provide comments.
July 8 – Flagstaff
High Country Conference Center — 1899 Ballroom
201 W. Butler Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
July 13 – Yuma
Pivot Point Conference Center (near Hilton Garden Inn Yuma) — Anza/Redondo boardrooms
301 N. Madison Ave., Yuma, AZ 85364
July 14 – Tucson
Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center
1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd., Tucson, AZ 85705
July 16 – Phoenix
Arizona Department of Transportation Human Resources Development Center
1130 N. 22nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85009
45-day Public Comment Period
All documents related to the proposed DBE goal, methodology and draft Disparity Study Report will be available for review from June 8 through July 23, 2015, online at adotdbestudy.com or at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1135 N. 22nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85009.
During the 45-day public comment period, comments may be provided in the following ways:
- Verbal Testimony: At public hearings
- Online: adotdbestudy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 928-684-3021
- Mail: Keen Independent Research, 172 N. Washington St., Wickenburg, AZ 85390
The public comment period will close on July 23, 2015. All public comments will be reviewed before ADOT submits final DBE goal requests to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and Federal Aviation Administration.