The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program exists to create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for transportation contracts. The Program requires ADOT to set DBE contract goals if it determines that it cannot meet its overall goal for DBE participation in other ways.
A DBE contract goal requires a proposer to include enough DBE participation on the contract to meet the goal, or to show good faith efforts to do so. For example, ADOT might set an 8 percent DBE goal on an engineering contract. Proposers are required to show that they have DBE participation that meets or exceeds 8 percent of their proposal or demonstrate that they have made good faith efforts to do so. If the proposed cost is $1 million, a proposer with $80,000 or more in DBE participation has complied with the contract goal. A proposer that only has 5 percent DBE participation but has shown good faith efforts to reach 8 percent participation has also complied with the DBE contract goal. DBE prime consultants may not count their own participation in complying with the contract goal.
When counting DBE participation, the DBE must be certified in the category of work it performs in order for that work to count towards DBE participation. Further, only the value of work actually performed by the DBE counts toward DBE participation, and it is only counted after the work has been paid for.
See the DBE/SBC Database section below to learn how to search for DBE and SBC subcontractors.
If DBEs cannot be found that would adequately satisfy the established DBE goals, you must prove that you have at least made a good faith effort to find such DBEs. See the Good Faith Efforts section below for more information on good faith efforts.
During the completion of a project, Prime Consultants must meet DBE goals for the project or make good faith efforts to do so. Failure to do so will result in sanctions. If ADOT determines that the contractor has, without justification, not met the established DBE goal, ADOT will, at its discretion, deduct up to two times the amount of the unattained portion of the established DBE goal from monies due or becoming due the contractor as liquidated damages, based on the circumstances of the noncompliance.
The specific clauses of a contract with ADOT which deal with DBE goals and requirements can be viewed in the BECO section of the ADOT website: