Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about conducting a disparity study.
A DBE is a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) program designed to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of USDOT-assisted contracts in the USDOT's highway, transit and aviation financial-assistance programs. The purpose of the program is to help to create a level playing field on which DBE firms can compete fairly for contracting opportunities on USDOT-assisted contracts.
A disparity study examines whether there are disparities between two factors:
The comparison between an agency's utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses and the availability of those businesses to perform that work is referred to as a disparity analysis.
In addition to utilization, availability and disparity analyses, disparity studies examine other quantitative and qualitative information:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Western States Paving Co., Inc. v. Washington State Department of Transportation, 407 F.3d 983 (2005) and guidance from USDOT require that recipients of federal-aid transportation funds conduct disparity studies periodically (generally every three to five years) to determine if there is evidence of discrimination affecting their local transportation contracting marketplace. ADOT completed its last and only study in 2009. An updated disparity study will help ADOT refine and adapt its implementation of the Federal DBE Program to meet legal requirements. The study will also help ADOT develop and submit updated DBE triennial goals to FHWA, FTA and FAA.
An independent team of consultant firms led by Keen Independent Research, which has conducted numerous disparity studies nationwide, will conduct the disparity study.
The study will be begin in February 2014 and will be completed within 15 to 18 months.
ADOT and its subrecipients' federally funded transportation planning, design, construction, transit and aviation contracts and grants that were procured from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2013, will be included in the study (including Local Public Agencies' and Metropolitan Planning Organizations' contracts).
Information collected as a part of the disparity study will help ADOT with its implementation of the Federal DBE Program. Among other information, the disparity study will provide
Throughout the process of the study, ADOT and Keen Independent will hold a series of public meetings to gain insights from businesses, stakeholder groups and the public about their experience with ADOT and its subrecipients; discuss the results of the study; and receive comments on the draft goal for overall DBE participation ADOT prepares based on the study. For times, dates and locations of public meetings, check the Participation Opportunities page.
Yes. Public comments will be solicited on the final draft report. The final report will be posted on the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office section of the website for public viewing after the completion of the study.
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