ADOT developing updated disadvantaged business enterprise goals

Draft DBE Disparity Study first step in process required every three years

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation is launching a process that will lead to a required update of goals for including disadvantaged business enterprises as contractors on projects that receive federal funding.

The first step, developing a DBE Disparity Study, will examine ways ADOT can encourage participation by firms owned by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups, including women and minorities.

Every three years, ADOT must set an overall annual goal for participation by disadvantaged business enterprises specializing in design, construction, transit and other components of transportation throughout the state. For federal fiscal years 2018 through 2020, ADOT has an overall goal of 9.55 percent of Federal Highway Administration-funded contracts going to firms with federal certification as disadvantaged business enterprises.

In spring 2020, ADOT will publish the draft DBE Disparity Study and propose overall disadvantaged business enterprise goals. To identify any disparities, the draft study will include analysis and results involving the agency’s use of disadvantaged business enterprises and the availability of such firms. The study will include analysis of in-depth interviews with business owners, trade associations and others about their experiences related to transportation contracting in Arizona.

Once the draft study is published, ADOT will schedule public meetings and announce other ways for stakeholders to provide feedback on the study and proposed goals.

A contractor conducting research for the draft DBE Disparity Study will contact businesses by phone this summer to collect information about their availability for different types of ADOT contracts. In addition, business owners, trade associations and others throughout the state are welcome to provide insights about Arizona’s transportation contracting industry and offer suggestions for creating a level playing field for disadvantaged business enterprises and other small businesses.

For more information on this process and to provide insights, please visit azdot.gov/DBEDisparityStudy or send an email to [email protected].