PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation has begun the process of updating its goal for the percentage value of federal-aid contract dollars won by firms certified for its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.
To do so, the agency has retained Keen Independent Research to develop a draft study on the availability of disadvantaged business enterprises in Arizona. This availability study will be completed in May and released for public review and comment along with ADOT’s proposed participation goal for disadvantaged business enterprises.
Every three years, ADOT must submit to the Federal Highway Administration an overall annual participation goal for disadvantaged business enterprises, expressed as a percentage of dollars going to certified firms from contracts using U.S. Department of Transportation funds.
Two public meetings on the proposed goal will be held in June, with public comments to be accepted through the end of June. The new goal, which must be submitted this summer, will go into effect on Oct. 1.
As part of this process, ADOT will seek comments on the proposed participation goal, the draft availability study, the conditions for minority- and women-owned firms in the Arizona transportation contracting marketplace, and other topics. All public comments will be reviewed before ADOT submits its final goal request to the Federal Highway Administration.
Through federal fiscal year 2017, ADOT has an overall disadvantaged business enterprise participation goal of 8.9 percent for contracts using Federal Highway Administration funds, setting contract-specific goals on some of its federally funded contracts to help meet the goal. During the past two fiscal years, ADOT has exceeded its goal.
ADOT will also use results of the availability study results to develop new overall disadvantaged business enterprise participation goals for its contracts funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.
ADOT is briefing industry groups about the availability study and the goal-setting process and will provide regular updates on the process through the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance website, azdot.gov/BECO.