On Tuesday, the U.S Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) published numerous revisions to the rule implementing the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The revised rule takes effect May 9.

We appreciate all the hard work and coordination from ARTBA staff and leadership including APC’s Craig Hoogstraten in advocating for a reasonable approach to the DBE program.

ARTBA’s and the industry’s chief concern in the original proposal was a proposed cap of 50 percent on the total allowable credit for a prime contractor’s expenditures with DBE suppliers to meet a contract goal. We considered this change to be arbitrary and without basis in fact or data. It was also the focus of a meeting the White House Office of Management and Budget held with ARTBA and Associated Pennsylvania Constructors representatives near the end of the rulemaking process. Thankfully, because of opposition expressed through thoughtful comments from ARTBA, APC’s EEO Committee members and many in the industry, U.S. DOT excluded this change from the final rule. In its narrative on this issue, U.S. DOT cited a comment from ARTBA about the dubious rationale for this change.

Go here to review ARTBA’s summary of the final rule. APC’s EEO/DBE Committee will be working with PennDOT on any necessary changes to the current program.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this process and helped achieve a more favorable outcome within the final product.