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Program Purpose

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program ensures equal opportunity in transportation contracting markets, addresses the effects of discrimination in transportation contracting, and promotes increased participation in Federally funded contracts by small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, including minority and women owned enterprises. The statute provides that at least 10% of the amounts made available for any Federal-aid highways, mass transit, and transportation research and technology program be expended with certified DBEs.

Key Continuing Provisions

Sustains the applicability to the Federal Highway, Mass Transit, and Transportation Research programs (Titles I, III, and V). [1101 (b)(1)]

Defines small business concerns and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals as in Sections 3 and 8(d) of the Small Business Act. [1101 (b)(2)(B)]

Preserves the inclusion of women in the presumptively disadvantaged category. [1101 (b)(2)(B)]

Reaffirms the administratively determined business size limitation for qualifying as a small business at $16.6 million in annual gross receipts averaged over the preceeding 3 fiscal years. [1101 (b)(2)(A)]

Maintains an annual survey and listing by State of the firms certified and their locations. [1101 (b)(3)]

Requires a minimum uniform certification criteria for State Governments. [1101 (b)(4)]

Key Modifications

Expands DBE program applicability to include the National Recreational Trails projects. [1101 (b)(1)]

Ensures a State's continuing eligibility to receive federal funds if a Federal court issues a final order

rendering the application of the State's DBE Program to be unconstitutional. [1101 (b)(5)]

Requires the General Accounting Office, within 3 years following enactment, to conduct a nationwide review encompassing 11 specific subject areas. The study will include a comparison of DBE and non-DBE firms, and will report findings and conclusions on the impact of the DBE program to the Congress. [1101 (b)(6)]

September 14, 1998

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