Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program: Administration and Oversight on Projects with Alternative Contracting & Procurement Methods Handbook
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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program: Administration and Oversight on Projects with Alternative Contracting & Procurement Methods Handbook

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      In the highway construction industry, the need to provide better facilities with fewer resources and in less time constantly drives innovation and experimentation. For the past several years, methods of project delivery in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Federal-aid program have expanded beyond the traditional design-bid-build contracting model. However, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)1 program and corresponding guidance are largely structured around this type of standard procurement. For example, in the context of design-bid-build, successful contractors are typically the lowest responsible bidder, and in the case of a DBE contract goal, have either met the goal through sufficient DBE subcontracting or through demonstrating adequate good faith efforts prior to contract award. The DBE program1 regulations were revised in 2014, to require that all bidders present their DBE commitments and good faith efforts with their bid or within no more than 5 days after bid opening. Although this rule is straightforward to apply in the context of a design-bid-build oversight contract, practitioners may find this rule is not easily applied to many alternative contracting models. In some of the alternative contracting models, such as design-build on multiyear projects, the design is typically only minimally complete when the request for proposals is issued. Therefore, it is difficult for bidders to identify all of the subcontracting opportunitiesthat may arise throughout the life of the contract. As innovation in financing, contracting and partnering expand, civil rights and other oversight practitioners encounter other challenges in the field, such as providing effective oversight and ensuring compliance on projects with multiple and non-traditional partners. Despite these challenges, civil rights and oversight practitioners are still tasked not only with ensuring that regulatory requirements are met, but also that DBEs remain adequately positioned for work and have meaningful opportunities to compete for opportunities on these innovative projects.
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    Version 3.26