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14 · Three Wisconsin DOT staff members, and TABLE 4 · One staff person from the FHWA. CONTRACT SELECTION FACTORS No. of States This composition covers all major stakeholders in the DBE Factors for Selecting Contracts for Goals Responding1 Type of Work or Bid Items 24 program and ensures that most viewpoints are represented. Location of Work (geographic) 18 Other STAs choose to have individual contacts with stake- Availability of RWA DBE Firms 202 holders. Public input can also be achieved by holding periodic Contract Size ($) 173 public meetings and inviting the stakeholders to participate. Project Schedule 3 Current Level of Goal Attainment 2 Publications used to advertise the goal and invite com- Notes: RWA = ready, willing, able; DBE = disadvantaged business enterprise. mentary included regional and local trade magazines, STA 1 Thirty-six potential responses. Seven states did not provide a response (four DBE newsletters, and local (major market) newspapers. were not using contract goals). 2 Some also advertise through their Internet websites. The Three states indicated they looked for a minimum of three RWA DBE firms to compete on each item included in the contract goal; one looks for a Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) used a direct solici- minimum of three RWA DBE firms for three or more work items. tation mailing to minorities, women, contracting groups, and 3 Various minimum contract sizes were noted as cut-offs for contract sizes other organizations. The questions they use in their direct with goals: $100,000, $250,000, and $1,000,000. mailing approach are as follows: lation are, in general, the same used by the state STAs for 1. Are you aware of any other disadvantaged businesses, evaluating contracts. Table 4 is a summary of the factors used other than certified DBE firms? for selecting contract goals. 2. Do you have information regarding discrimination that has affected opportunities for the DBE and or non- Specific factors eliminating a contract from a DBE goal DBE firms? requirement include 3. Do you believe that ITD's efforts are helping to estab- lish a level playing field? · Contract value deemed too small for subcontracting 4. Has ITD's goal-setting process been beneficial to their opportunities (7), group or organization? · Emergency work (4), 5. Do you have comments or concerns that should be · High degree of work specialization (2), considered in the determination of new goals? · Only using state funds (2), and 6. Do you have additional comments or concerns? · Very short duration contracts (1). In addition to gaining information on the goal-setting DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE process, this survey approach also directs some feedback to PROGRAM CONTRACT ADVISING program administrators for potential process improvement. The STAs were asked about how the DBE program person- nel provide guidance or advice to engineering and/or the CONTRACT GOAL-SETTING PROCEDURES STA contracts division regarding contract size, bundling or The basic guidance from 49 CFR 26.51 (2003) for goal-setting grouping contracts with certain work types, and work type is as follows: distribution in lettings. More than 60% (23 of 36) responded that they did not provide guidance to engineering or the con- · Use contract goals only on those STA-assisted contracts tracts division on contract size, bundling, or grouping of con- that have subcontracting possibilities. tracts on lettings. · Use goals to offset overall goal achievement not accom- plished by race-neutral means. One-third of the respondents indicated that they had a role · A goal set requirement is not required for every STA- within their STA to advise on contract issues. This group indi- assisted contract. cated that the DBE program advised on and acted as advo- · The contract goal does not need to match the overall cates for smaller contract sizes and provided consultation and goal and depends on training to engineering groups. In two cases, the relationship Type of work involved, described was a collaborative review of contracts with engi- Location of the work, and neers and construction to determine contract DBE goals. The Availability of DBEs for the work on the contract. major problem reported was that large contracts associated · Contract goals must provide for participation by all with bundled contracts limited DBE participation. certified DBEs and must not be subdivided into group- specific goals. BUNDLED CONTRACTS The process to be used by STAs for setting contract goals Figure 4 shows that one-half of the responding states have is not specifically defined. The factors identified in the regu- experienced an increase in contract bundling. Contract bun-