Long-Awaited DBE Rule Revisions Announced

Circling back around to the DBE Rule Revisions in the previous email:   Long-Awaited DBE Rule Revisions Announced   What happened: The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) April 9 revised its rule implementing the Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) program, after reviewing comments from ARTBA and about 400 other entities who responded to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in July 2022 – ARTBA-2022 Comments-Re-Docket-No-DOT-OST-2022-0051 DBE.pdf The rulemaking addressed more than 40 aspects of the longstanding program. ARTBA has a summary of key revisions below, which take effect May 9.
Why it matters: Originally, U.S. DOT planned to impose a 50 percent cap on the total allowable credit for a prime contractor’s expenditures with DBE suppliers to meet a contract goal. ARTBA strongly opposed this policy change, as it lacked supporting data and would disrupt business plans for many existing DBE firms. Ultimately, the agency did not make this change in the DBE rule, specifically citing comments from ARTBA and the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors, among others. Also, in a January meeting, ARTBA and leaders of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors spoke at length about this issue with the White House Office of Management and Budget as it reviewed U.S. DOT’s draft changes.
ARTBA expressly supported proposed program improvements which the Department adopted, such as better state DBE directories and increased flexibility for meeting goals on design-build projects. Other changes include addition of a DBE “distributor” category, increase of the personal net worth cap, and further streamlining interstate certifications.
What’s next: ARTBA will arrange educational opportunities for members on the rule changes over the coming months. The contacts are Rich Juliano or Prianka SharmaATRBA DBE Summary website DBE-Final-Rule-Summary-ARTBA-4-24-2.pdf   If you are interested in diving deep into this topic, USDOT is putting on a series of webinars that you can find and register at Training Sessions and Recordings. Many of these are geared towards USDOT/FHWA/State DOT personnel but the remaining topics are below. DBE Supplier Definitions, CUF Performance Requirements, and Pre-Award Counting Requirements
Wednesday May 8, 2024        1:00– 3:00 PM EST FTA’s Tier II Requirements in the New DBE Rule
Tuesday May 21, 2024           3:00– 4:30 PM EST DBE Status After Losing Certification During Contract Performance
Wednesday May 22, 2024       1:00– 3:00 PM EST DBE/ACDBE Final Rule Changes: DBE Open Ended Performance Plans (OEPP) for Design-Build Contracts
Tuesday June 18, 2024          1:00– 3:00 PM EST Final Rule Prompt Payment and Return Retainage requirements with rollout of a Tool and Toolkit for optional use by recipients/subrecipients
Wednesday July 24, 2024       1:00– 3:00 PM EST Requirements for TVMs in the New DBE Rule
Tuesday July 30, 2024            3:00– 4:30 PM EST You must register separately for each session. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a unique personalized link and instructions on how to join the event. Please do not share your link.   Please note that as ARTBA finalizes training geared towards the industry, we will share with you.