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20 CHAPTER FOUR CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION BIDDING PATTERNS bidder. DBE commitment data or an acceptable good faith effort is a condition of responsiveness when DBE commit- The trend in the number of DBEs submitting as prime con- ments are required as part of a bid submission. If the data tractors is shown in Figure 5. Contract size and location of included do not pass a good faith effort analysis, the con- the projects were noted as the primary factors influencing the tractor's bid can be deemed nonresponsive and may not be number of DBEs bidding as prime contractors. It should be considered for award or they may be given an opportunity to noted for DBE programs, when as few as one or two DBEs modify their DBE commitments depending on the problem lose their eligibility owing to growth (graduation) or personal with their submission. Other states treat DBE submission net worth limitations, the impact to the availability of DBE requirements more like a condition of responsibility, which firms bidding as prime contractors in that state can be signif- means the low bid contractor is given a time period after the icant. This is particularly noticeable in those STAs where a bid opening to finalize and submit its DBE commitments for very limited number of DBE firms have the capacity and STA reviews similar to their start-up schedule and other pre- qualifications to bid as prime contractors. construction submissions. The distribution of time allowances is shown in Table 8. Experience with bidding STA contracts is important to understanding the competitive prime contract and subcon- The positive aspect of delaying submission of DBE com- tract bidding process. However, as noted earlier, few DBEs mitments is that it allows the prime contractor time to solid- have the capability to submit prime contract bids. Figure 6 ify their commitments and ensure that they have met contract shows the trend in the ability of firms to submit competitive goals. The negative aspect of allowing prime contractors time bids. Supportive services impact was noted for two of the to submit their DBE commitments is the opportunity for bid seven STAs reporting an increase in the ability of DBE firms shopping and bid peddling. Submission of DBE data with the to submit competitive subcontract bids. A slower economy bid limits the opportunity for bid shopping to the time period was noted as the factor contributing to the decline in one before the bid. Other methods to limit bid shopping and bid STA. Otherwise, no specific factors were noted among the peddling were not included in the scope of the study. STAs reporting a decline in competitive subcontract bids. The questionnaire also sought out studies that support or GOOD FAITH EFFORT refine the information collected on past performance reported in Figures 5 and 6. Of the responding STAs, 83% (30 of Regulation Section 26.53 applies evaluation of contractor 36) did not have supportive data or studies on the trends good faith effort. A bidder has made good faith efforts if they reported for their programs. The Vermont DOT conducted a can either survey study that focused on the needs of the DBE commu- nity with respect to contracting with the Vermont DOT. It Document that it has obtained enough DBE participa- reviewed a number of issues, including the DBE experiences tion to meet the goal or in bidding as a prime contractor or a subcontractor. Califor- Document that it made adequate good faith efforts to nia conducted a survey on training needs for DBEs. Other meet the goal even if the effort falls short. than disparity studies and the two surveys noted, no studies had been conducted on these trends. The first approach is self-explanatory. The second merely indicates that a prime contractor may not be able to meet a goal and the contract can still be accepted, provided adequate DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE documentation is provided. Appendix A of the regulation pro- COMMITMENT SUBMISSIONS vides additional guidance on evaluation of good faith effort, including actions the bidders should undertake to ensure they Two basic elements must be present for any contract award. have made appropriate efforts to meet the contract goal. Typ- First, the prime contractor must be responsive, which means ical support documentation for good faith effort includes: they must meet bid submission time requirements and address all the requirements in the bid forms including bonds, signa- Identification of the contract items to be sublet, tures, etc. Second, a prime contractor must be a responsible Quotes of all subcontract bids, and