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FAQ's

  1. What is a Disparity Study?
  2. Why did Metro conduct the Disparity Study?
  3. What was the study period of Metro’s Disparity Study?
  4. Based on the results of the Study, will there be DBE subcontract participation goals?
  5. What is the DBE overall goal for 2013-2015?
  6. Does the entire 27 percent goal have to be race-conscious?
  7. How will the remaining 6.11 percent of be met?
  8. Does the entire 20.89 percent race-conscious goal have to be limited to minority groups?
  9. What minority groups will be eligible to meet the DBE overall goal?
  10. Is there any way to amend the DBE race-conscious goal to include WBEs?
  11. How frequently will Metro monitor DBE utilization?
  12. Where is information regarding Metro DBE policies and procedures published?
  13. Where is information on upcoming Metro contracts published?
  14. What will be done to ensure timely payments to subcontractors?
  15. How will Metro address discrepancies between what is owed subcontractors and what they are paid by the prime contractor?
  16. Is a prime contractor’s utilization of DBEs evaluated by whether the DBE goal is met or exceeded?
  17. Is the utilization of DBEs reported by the prime contractor?
  18. What will be done to prevent prime contractors from superficially using DBEs to win awards, but not fully engaging the DBE in the project?

1. What is a Disparity Study?

The purpose of a Disparity Study is to evaluate the contracting practices of government agencies, particularly as they apply to the utilization of minority and women-owned business enterprises. The objective of a Disparity Study is to determine whether minority and women-owned business enterprises received contracts at the level the ethnic and gender groups are available in the market area. Under a fair and equitable system of awarding contracts, the proportion of contract dollars awarded to minority and women-owned business enterprises should be at parity with the proportion of available minority and women-owned business enterprises in the market area. Findings of statistically significant underutilization can be used to define the race and gender-conscious goals.

2. Why did Metro conduct the Disparity Study ?

The Disparity Study was conducted to determine whether Metro has a compelling interest in reinstating the race-conscious portion of its DBE Program.  Metro is in the Ninth Federal Circuit, where a disparity study must be completed in order to establish the legal basis for a race-conscious DBE Program. A DBE Program can only have a race-conscious goal if a statistically significant disparity is found for the ethnic and gender groups to be included in the Program.

3. What was the study period of Metro’s Disparity Study?

The study period was January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010.

4. Based on the results of the Study, will there be DBE subcontract participation goals?

The findings revealed statistically significant disparities for businesses owned by African Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans and significant underutilization of Native Americans. Therefore, the race-conscious portion of the overall DBE Goal can be met by African Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Asian Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans.

5. What is the DBE overall goal for 2013-2015?

Metro’s overall DBE goal for Federal Fiscal Years 2013-2015 is 27 percent.  Based on the disparity findings, 20.89 percent of the overall DBE goal will be met by race and gender-conscious measures, and the remaining 6.11 percent will be met through race and gender-neutral measures.
The race-conscious goal will be set on a contract-by-contract basis for prime contracts with subcontracting opportunities.

6. Does the entire 27 percent goal have to be race-conscious?

No, the portion of the goal to be met by race-conscious measure is 20.89%.  The remainder of the overall DBE goal is 6.11%.

7. How will the remaining 6.11 percent of be met?

Race-neutral measures will be used to obtain 6.11 percent DBE participation.   Non-minority women certified as DBEs can be used to meet the race-neutral portion of the Overall goal.  The Study revealed no significant disparity for women-owned business enterprises.

8. Does the entire 20.89 percent race-conscious goal have to be limited to minority groups?

Yes.

9. What minority groups will be eligible to meet the DBE overall goal?

The overall DBE Goal is 27 percent.  The race-conscious portion of the goal is 20.89.  The race-conscious goal can only be met by DBE certified African American, Asian-Pacific American, Asian American, Subcontinent Asian American, Native American, and Hispanic American businesses.

10. Is there any way to amend the DBE race-conscious goal to include WBEs?

There must be a finding of statistically significant underutilization of Non-minority women to include WBEs in the race-conscious goals.

11. How frequently will Metro monitor DBE utilization?

Metro will review DBE utilization on a contract-by-contract basis. The Uniform Report of DBE Awards/Commitments and Payments required by the DBE regulations will be used to monitor DBE utilization on a semi-annual basis.

12. Where is information regarding Metro DBE policies and procedures published?

Metro values transparency in all of its policies and practices. A complete description of Metro’s current DBE Program, certification procedures and certified businesses is published on its website. DBE Program material can be found at: http://www.metro.net/about/deod/

13. Where is information on upcoming Metro contracts published?

Information on Metro’s upcoming contracting opportunities can be found at:
http://ebb.metro.net/ebb/bids1.asp

14. What will be done to ensure timely payments to subcontractors?

Metro requires its prime contractors to pay their subcontractors for satisfactory performance of their contracts no later than 7 days from receipt of each payment Metro submits to the prime contractor as required by the DBE regulations.  Additionally, prompt and full payment of retainage from prime contractors to the subcontractor is required within 7days after the subcontractor's work is satisfactorily completed.

15. How will Metro address discrepancies between what is owed subcontractors and what they are paid by the prime contractor?

Metro requires its prime contractors to complete a monthly expenditure plan for each approved DBE subcontractor.  The plan must be submitted within 30 days of the Notice to Proceed.  The planned expenditures must equal the dollars committed to each DBE and must be developed according to the approved project schedule.  Any changes to the plan must be updated or an executed Change Notice and Work Authorization Change Notice that affects the DBEs’ subcontracted work must be submitted.  The revised plan must be submitted 30 days prior to the requested change.

Metro also tracks the actual payments to DBEs for work committed at the time of contract award.  This data is tracked utilizing Metro’s Summary of Subcontractors Paid Report Form.

16. Is a prime contractor’s utilization of DBEs evaluated by whether the DBE goal is met or exceeded?

Metro is committed to ensuring that its Overall DBE Goal is fulfilled.  A race-conscious contract goal will be set on prime contracts that have DBE subcontracting possibilities. Prime contractors are expected to meet the contract DBE goal or to provide a good faith effort statement. All bidders will be required to submit the following documentations with their submittals:

  • Names and addresses of all DBEs that will participate in the contracts
  • Description of the work that each DBE will perform
  • Award amount for each DBE subcontractor
  • Written and signed documentation of commitment to use each DBE contractor(s) whose participation will be used to meet the contract goal
  • Written and signed confirmation from the DBE that the firm will be participating as represented in the prime contractor’s commitment
  • Documentation of the good faith efforts if the goal is not met

All bidders/proposers that fail to meet the DBE race-conscious subcontract goal will be required to provide documentation demonstrating their good faith efforts to meet the goal.  Minimally, the documentation must include:

  • Soliciting certified DBEs through all reasonable and available means that are capable of performing the contract work
  • Allowing sufficient time for the DBEs to respond to the solicitation, and taking appropriate steps to follow-up with the initial solicitation to the DBEs
  • Selecting portions of work to be performed by DBEs that will increase the likelihood that the DBE goal will be met
  • Providing interested DBEs with information about the subcontract possibility in a timely manner and assisting the DBEs in responding to the solicitation
  • Negotiating in good faith with all interested DBEs
  • Not rejecting a DBE as unqualified without cause
  • Assisting DBEs in obtaining bonding, credit,  insurance, or obtaining equipment
  • Utilizing the services of minority and women-owned business organizations

17. Is the utilization of DBEs reported by the prime contractor?

Yes.  Metro requires its prime contractors to complete a monthly Summary of Subcontractors Paid Report (Form 103). The Form 103 tracks the actual payments to DBEs for work committed at the time of contract award. The Summary of Disadvantaged/Small Business Enterprise (DBE/SBE) Subcontractor Paid Report (Form   103) provides award, contract amendments, payments made, participation, and other contract information necessary to monitor the status of contracts. Information reported   on Form 103 is compiled to fulfill federal reporting  requirements. Prime contractors  prepare and submit Form 103 via U.S. Mail, fax, or e-mail to the Contract Compliance Unit by the 15th of each month to report their progress on payments and DBE/SBE performance and commitments. Metro issues payment verification letters to DBE firms to verify payments reported by prime contractors. Click here for a sample of a standard Form 103 report .

18. What will be done to prevent prime contractors from superficially using DBEs to win awards, but not fully engaging the DBE in the project?

Metro requires that all DBE subcontractors perform a commercially useful function.  The utilization of subcontractors and suppliers is verified at the time the contract is executed.  The DBE must perform, manage, and supervise the work involved. If the DBE provides materials or supplies, the DBE must be responsible for negotiating price, determining quality and quantity, ordering the material, and installing and paying for the material.

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