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6 States publicize the services of their DBE programs through The online survey for this synthesis was sent to all members marketing and outreach to DBEs and prime contractors. Many of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Civil Rights. To facilitate states publish DBE newsletters and notify DBEs of contract a high response rate, it was important that the survey be com- opportunities by e-mail. States also commonly facilitate net- pleted in a reasonable amount of time. Toward that end, the working and communication between DBEs and prime con- survey was designed to minimize the number of open-ended tractors by hosting events that bring the two groups together, questions, while allowing respondents the option of providing in addition to outreach events that increase DBEs' awareness greater detail on how the states' most significant challenges of contracting opportunities with DOTs. were addressed using race-neutral methods. A copy of the sur- vey is presented as Appendix A to this report. In addition, although race-conscious measures include set- ting contract goals for DBE participation on specific con- States were allowed one month to complete the survey. struction contracts, race-neutral DBE participation includes, Once the deadline had passed, follow-up contact was made but is not limited to, any time a DBE wins a prime contract through e-mails and phone calls to ensure that the target response rate of 80% (40 states) was reached. To ensure a high through customary competitive procurement procedures or is response rate among the states under the jurisdiction of the awarded a subcontract on a prime contract that does not carry Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, extra effort was made to a DBE goal. encourage those states to complete the survey. Ultimately, staff from 47 of the 50 states participated, a 94% response rate. In implementing their DBE programs, nine states in the Most respondents were from state DOT offices of Civil Rights western United States must abide by the outcome of a 2005 or Equal Opportunity. decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [Western States Paving Co. Inc. v. Washington State Department of Trans- The results of the survey form the basis for chapters two portation, 407 F. 3d 983 (2005)]. The court held that a state and three of this report. The survey results were analyzed using DOT must limit its application of the race and gender pref- a combined approach that incorporated both quantitative and erence elements of the U.S.DOT/FHWA DBE program to qualitative analysis: situations where those preferences are demonstrably needed. These nine DOTs must use 100% race-neutral means in · Quantitative analysis: The survey responses were tal- their efforts to meet their DBE participation goals, and may lied and the resulting data were analyzed to determine the employ race-conscious methods with only those groups for race-neutral strategies that respondents found most and which disparities have been recently demonstrated. least effective, the strategies they used most commonly, and the most effective strategies by category. These data are displayed graphically in chapter two. Responses STUDY APPROACH from the subset of states that use or have used 100% race-neutral measures, including those under the juris- This synthesis project included the following tasks: diction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, were also analyzed. · Literature review of state and local practices. · Qualitative analysis: States' responses to the survey's · Survey of members of the AASHTO Subcommittee on open-ended questions were analyzed to identify patterns Civil Rights. in the way states described the challenges they face and · Interviews with selected state DOT DBE program the race-neutral measures they use. Some topics pro- managers. voked very little response, whereas others inspired · Review of sample documents provided by interviewees lengthy descriptions. Respondents' comments were and survey respondents. grouped by topic, and the challenges they described were linked where possible with states' efforts to over- The literature review focused on relevant state practices for come them. implementing race-neutral measures in DBE programs. The literature review concluded that there is little to no published Based on this analysis, interviews were conducted with peer-reviewed research on this topic, which confirmed the staff at state DOTs that are using especially effective or inno- need for this synthesis study. As part of this step, the results of vative strategies, especially those strategies that are less com- a 2008 survey of DBE program managers conducted by the monly used. This process provided an in-depth look at how TRB DBE Committee, which asked states to describe the race- one state has implemented each strategy, including the neutral measures they use, were reviewed. The 74 measures choices each agency made that were successful and those identified by respondents to that survey helped inform the list that they would advise other agencies not to repeat. of strategies included in the survey for the current synthesis project. A bibliography of relevant research is provided at the The survey included four questions about fraud and compli- end of this synthesis report. ance among DBEs and prime contractors. When the responses