1. What is the difference between a race-neutral DBE program and a race-conscious DBE program?
A race-conscious DBE program is one where there is an overall DBE goal reflective of DBE utilization across all projects, which DOT&PF and its contractors must meet, and where DOT&PF will use DBE contract goals on individual projects as a means to meet it. A race-neutral DBE program is one where there is an overall DBE goal that contractors and DOT must meet; however, the contract is NOT reliant or restricted based on this goal.
What this means for contractors is that while you will not have to meet a DBE contract goal as a condition of award, it is yours and DOT&PFs responsibility to meet the annual overall DBE goal of 8.46% DBE participation.
2. Does the change from a race-conscious DBE Program to a race-neutral DBE Program affect existing contracts?
No. Only contracts advertised after July 1, 2015 are affected by the change to a race-neutral DBE program.
3. Do we still need to report DBE Commitments and DBE Utilization under the new race-neutral DBE program?
Yes, DBE commitments and DBE utilization are still required under a race-neutral program. Collecting data on DBE participation is a federal requirement, and will allow DOT&PF to continue improving the DBE program.