New Online Dashboard Shows Diversity of High-Speed Rail Small Businesses Program

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) has launched a new online dashboard that tracks Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), which include women- and minority-owned small businesses participating on the high-speed rail project. The feature is on the Authority’s small business program homepage at https://hsr.ca.gov/small_business/. “We designed the new dashboard to highlight minority-owned small businesses’ participation in building high-speed rail and to transparently …

New Caltrans Exhibit 9-F Due Monthly

The Caltrans Division of Local Assistance released the 2021 Local Assistance Procedures Manual (LAPM) on January 4, 2021. In addition to numerous minor revisions, the LAPM introduced a new Exhibit 9-F: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Running Tally of Actual Attainments. This exhibit is required to be completed by the prime contractor/consultant and must be emailed to Caltrans each month after …

DBE CUF Consequences

Connecticut Contractor Agrees To Pay $3.2 Million To Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigation On January 8, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut entered into a civil settlement agreement with Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc. Ducci agreed to pay more than $3.2 million plus interest to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.   On the …

DBE Gross Receipts Increased to $26.9M

The US Department of Transportation issued a ruling today that increases the DBE size standard to $26.29M, effective January 13, 2021, for FTA and FHWA funded projects. The statutory gross receipts cap for certified DBEs specified in 49 CFR §26.65 is adjusted for inflation from $23.98 million to $26.29 million. This adjustment applies to the DBE program only.  If a …

Updated DBE & ACDBE Program Guidance During COVID-19

The US Department of Transportation released guidance documents addressing DBE and ACDBE program requirements during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on March 24, 2020 and April 1, 2020. This guidance was updated on November 25, 2020. The program requirements are now extended until June 30, 2021. Overall DBE Goal Methodology Public Participation – Agencies are required to include public participation …

American DBE Magazine Summer 2020 Edition

The Summer 2020 edition of American DBE magazine includes a variety of articles related to the implementation and administration of the DBE program and includes best practices and thought-provoking discourse on industry challenges. Of particular note are the following articles: Program Spotlight | Disparity Studies Provide Evidence to Confirm Contracting Inequalities: Remembering the Impact of Atlanta’s First Disparity Study on …

USDOT Announces $11.2M in Grants for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced $11.2 million in grants from the Fiscal Year 2019 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services (DBE/SS) program to help eligible small businesses compete for federal highway contracts in 47 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. “Grants like these help small business owners create jobs while keeping costs low, …

The Invest in America Act and its Impact on the USDOT DBE Program

Colette Holt, Colette Holt & Associates The new “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” Act (“Invest in America Act”), which replaces the FAST Act that expires September 30th, reauthorizes the USDOT DBE Program. The Act finds that while significant progress has been made, discrimination and related barriers continue to pose obstacles for minority- …

Charge to Repeal Prop 209

Proposition 209 is a California ballot proposition (from 1996) that prohibits state governmental institutions from considering race, gender, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting, and public education.  This legislation has been the norm for decades, however there is strong opposition to Prop 2019 that is swiftly gaining traction. California Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5 (ACA 5) …