The Arizona Department of Transportation operates the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program to assist disadvantaged business enterprises on contracts that use U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) funds. Every three years, ADOT must set an overall annual goal for participation of DBEs in those contracts. The goal is expressed as the percentage of contract dollars that will go to firms certified as DBEs.
Through federal Fiscal Year 2014, ADOT has had an overall DBE goal of 7.76 percent for contracts using Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds. During the most recent reporting periods, ADOT has met this goal or has been close to meeting it.
Federal regulations in 49 CFR Part 26 and other USDOT guidance direct how an agency sets its overall DBE goal. ADOT selected Keen Independent Research (Keen Independent) to conduct Availability and Disparity studies. The information in the recently completed Availability Study indicated a preliminary overall annual goal of 9.38 percent for the next three federal fiscal years beginning Oct. 1, 2014. ADOT submitted this 9.38 percent preliminary overall DBE goal to FHWA on Sept. 30, 2014. The preliminary goal submitted to FHWA is not official until it is reviewed by USDOT. The complete Availability Study can be found here.
2015 Disparity Study
The 2015 Disparity Study is still in progress and will include availability results for FTA- and FAA-funded contracts, as ADOT must determine whether DBE goals are needed for those contracts as well.
The Disparity Study will also analyze 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 contracts. It will also include analysis of in-depth interviews with business owners, trade associations and others. Keen Independent will complete the study in summer 2015 and make recommendations to ADOT for the final goal submission. ADOT will hold public hearings on the Final Proposed Goal, and after reviewing the public comments, ADOT will submit a Final Goal to FHWA by Sept. 30, 2015.