The Department Of transportation has issued a final rule amending its disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program at 49 CFR Part 26. The final rule improves DBE program implementation in three major areas. First, the rule revises the uniform certification application and reporting forms, creates a uniform personal net worth form for use by applicant owners, and collects data required by the Department’s surface transportation reauthorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Second, the rule strengthens the certification-related program provisions, which includes adding a new section authorizing summary suspensions under specified circumstances. Third, the rule modifies several other program provisions concerning such subjects as: overall goal setting, good faith efforts, transit vehicle manufacturers, and counting for trucking companies.
The Department is committed to realizing the goals and objectives of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program set forth at 49 C.F.R. Parts 23 and 26, maintaining a program that meets constitutional requirements and ensuring the integrity of the DBE program overall. On February 5, 2014, Secretary Foxx signed an order on coordination and oversight of the DBE program clearly defining roles and responsibilities within our organization to ensure that all offices within the Department are working efficiently, effectively, and cohesively towards the success of the program. The Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR) acts as the lead office in the Office of the Secretary (OST) for the DBE program. Other offices include additional elements from OST, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and the Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)—as well as the three OAs distributing financial assistance to DOT recipients-the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration. The OAs will continue to be the first points of contact regarding, and be primarily responsible for overseeing and enforcing, the day-to-day administration of the program by recipients. [Ref:DOT]