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Utilizing DBE Firms on Construction Projects

The DBE program is a federally-mandated program that seeks to ensure non-discrimination in the award of U.S. DOT assisted contracts. To that end, CDOT sets a contract goal for DBE participation on contracts that include U.S. DOT assistance. The contract goal can be found in the Project Special Provision DBE Worksheet.

DBE Commitment and Good Faith Effort Requirement

In order to be awarded a contract, the bidder must show it has committed to DBE participation sufficient to meet the contract goal (if greater than zero) or has otherwise made good faith efforts to do so. Bidders must submit a Bidders List (Form 1413) and Anticipated DBE Participation Plan (Form 1414) with their proposal. Failure to submit these forms will result in rejection of the proposal (Form 1414 is only required if the goal on the project is greater than zero).

If the contract goal is greater than zero, or if the bidder has voluntarily made commitments, the bidder shall submit a Commitment Confirmation (Form 1415) from each DBE, reflecting acknowledgement of the commitment. If the total eligible participation listed on Form 1414 was insufficient to meet the contract goal, the bidder shall also submit a Good Faith Effort Report (Form 1416). These forms must be submitted to the Civil Rights and Business Resource Center (CRBRC) within five calendar days of the letting.

CDOT will amend the project goal prior to award if the lowest apparent bidder demonstrates that good faith efforts were made, but sufficient commitments to meet the goal could not be obtained. If CDOT determines that the bidder has met the contract goal, or made good faith efforts to do so, CDOT will issue an Approved DBE Participation Plan documenting the approved commitments.

If the CRBRC determines that the bidder did not make good faith efforts to meet the contract goal, the bidder is entitled to administrative reconsideration. The CRBRC administrative reconsideration procedures can be found as Exhibit I, GFE Appeal Process in the DBE Program Manual.

Good faith efforts include all necessary and reasonable steps to achieve the contract goal which, by their scope, intensity, and appropriateness to the objective, could reasonably be expected to obtain sufficient DBE participation, even if not fully successful. Good faith efforts are evaluated prior to award and throughout performance of the Contract. For guidance on good faith efforts, see 49 CFR Part 26, Appendix A.

Monitoring and Enforcement of Commitments

CDOT will monitor the progress of the Contractor throughout the project to ensure that the Contractor’s DBE commitments are being fulfilled. Contractors are required to submit a DBE Participation Report (Form 1419) to the Engineer on a quarterly basis and at the end of the project. Contractors shall ensure that they are properly counting DBE participation, which includes deductions for regular dealers, brokers, and non-DBE subcontractors. For more information, see below (Eligible Participation). NOTE: CDOT has not adopted 49 CFR 26.55(d), therefore non-DBE trucking does not count toward the contract goal.

CDOT will also monitor performance during the contract to ensure each DBE is performing a commercially useful function (CUF) as defined in 49 CFR 26.55. If CDOT determines a DBE is not performing a CUF, no work performed by that DBE will count as participation.

CDOT may conduct reviews or investigations of participants at any time during the contract term.

Plan Modifications

Contractor must submit a DBE Participation Modification Request (Form 1420) for all requests for termination, reduction, substitution, and waivers, which must be approved by the CDOT Regional Civil Rights Office. If terminating or reducing participation from a DBE for good cause, prior to submission of Form 1420, Contractor must provide the DBE with notice of intent to terminate or reduce the commitment and provide a copy to CDOT. Notice must give the DBE five calendar days to respond.

Modifications to commitments must be approved by CDOT. Any unapproved use of a DBE will not be counted toward the goal. Upon completion of the Contract, CDOT may reduce the final payment to the Contractor if the Contractor has failed to fulfill the commitments and/or has failed to make good faith efforts to meet the contract goal.

Eligible DBE Participation

Only eligible DBE participation will count toward the goal. Participation by a DBE qualifies as eligible if:

  • The work to be performed by the DBE can be reasonably construed to be included in the work approved in the commitment.
  • The DBE is certified to perform the type of work identified in the commitment at the time of commitment approval and of the subcontract.
  • The DBE performs the work with its own forces.
  • The DBE performs a commercially useful function.
  • If a DBE subcontracts to a non-DBE, the value of that work will be deducted from the DBE’s total participation. However, if the DBE subcontracts to another DBE, that work will count towards the goal.
  • The DBE has received payment.
  • If the DBE is a manufacturer, dealer or broker, the value of participation is as follows:
          • Manufacturer: 100%
          • Regular dealer/supplier: 60%
          • Broker: only reasonable brokerage fee counts

DBE Directory

All certified DBEs are listed on the UCP directory. Instructions for using the directory are located here (link coming soon).

DBE Standard Special Provision

The above material is a summary of the DBE standard special provision, included in all CDOT contracts. Contractor requirements for DBE participation on construction projects are included in the DBE standard special provision. Click here for a copy of the special provision.

DBE Forms

If you need a form not previously mentioned on this page, please visit the CDOT Forms Catalog.

Contact the CRBRC

Civil Rights & Business Resource Center
4201 E Arkansas Ave Ste 150
Denver, CO 80220
P 303-757-9234  /  800-925-3427
F 303-952-7088
Contact Civil Rights Contact Certifications

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal