DBE Program Regulations: Reporting requirements

DOT has released Official FAQs on DBE Program Regulations. These questions and answers provide guidance and information for compliance with the provisions under 49 CFR part 26. Like all guidance material, these questions and answers are not, in themselves, legally binding or mandatory, and do not constitute regulations.

Should recipients keep track of DBE “commitments,” “achievements,” or both? Section 26.37(b), 26.55(g)

  • Section 26.37(b) requires recipients to have a mechanism to verify that the work committed to DBEs at contract award is actually performed by the DBEs. Obviously, recipients need to track both commitments and actual achievements in order to perform this task.
  • Final information on actual achievements will often not be available in the same year in which contracts are let. Recipients will often have to rely on commitments information in order to administer their programs (e.g., make needed adjustments with respect to the use of race-neutral and race-conscious measures).
  • On the other hand, keeping track of actual achievements is crucial to evaluating the operation of recipients’ programs. As 26.55(g) provides, actual achievements are not counted toward goals until DBEs receive payment for their work. If the actual achievements of particular contractors, or a recipient’s program in general, falls short of commitments, this is an indication that corrective action should be taken to improve program performance.