Chapter 14: Small Business Programs


Section 1: Program Overview

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The Civil Rights Division (CIV) is responsible for the oversight of the Department's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs.

This part seeks to achieve several objectives:

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  • To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department's highway, transit, and airport financial assistance programs;
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  • To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts;
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  • To ensure that the Department's DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
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  • To ensure that only firms that fully meet this part's eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs;
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  • To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted contracts;
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  • To promote the use of DBEs in all types of federally-assisted contracts and procurement activities conducted by recipients.
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  • To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program; and
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  • To provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of Federal financial assistance in establishing and providing opportunities for DBEs.

Contact CIV at (512) 416-4700 for more information regarding these programs.

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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

The DBE Program as authorized by Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 26 ensures nondiscrimination in the award and administration of United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) contracts. The Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Program is a legislatively mandated USDOT program that applies to Federal-aid highway dollars expended on federally-assisted contracts. The USDOT must approve the Department's DBE Program and its annual goals to ensure compliance with all Program requirements.

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Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program

The Department's SBE Program (as authorized by 43 TAC §9.300 and SP000-009, “Small Business Enterprise in State Funded Projects,") offers small businesses another avenue to maximize their opportunities of doing business with TxDOT. The Program applies to highway improvement contracts that are funded entirely using state or local funds.

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DBE Program Compliance Guides are available to assist contractors in complying with the DBE special provisions.

The District DBE Compliance and Monitoring Guide should be used by district construction staff that have oversight responsibilities specific to the DBE program as outlined in 49 CFR, Part 26. The guides contain procedures related to monitoring and enforcement to verify that the work committed to DBEs is actually performed by DBEs and that their payments are consistent with their approved contracts.

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Rules and Regulations

The following is a list of the DBE contract regulations and provisions with which contractors must comply.

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  • FHWA DBE Regulations 49 CFR, Part 26
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  • Special Provision 000-007, “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Federal-Aid Contracts” (for projects let prior to February 2017)
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  • Special Provision 000-394, “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Federal-Aid Contracts” (for projects let February 2017 and thereafter)
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  • Prompt Payment is included in the contract through Item 9 of the Standard Specifications and covered in Chapter 11 - Section 3 of this manual for further guidance.
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  • The DBE goal applies to the final value of the original contract requirements. The DBE goal also applies to all change orders which increase or decrease the final value of the contract. Refer to Chapter 1, Section 1 in the Prime Contractors Compliance Guide.
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