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Identification of Good, Best, and Innovative Practices:

State: Iowa

1) Small Contracts- instead of “Unbundling” large contracts
As a Race-neutral means of facilitating DBE participation and to increase the ability and capacity of DBEs and other small businesses to perform contracts the Iowa DOT makes use of developing small separate projects into $1.5 to $2 million contracts to encourage better competition including allowing DBE firms to be prime contractors. The concept is to break up projects into bite-size contracts that small firms, including DBEs, can manage. It is at the states discretion per 49 CFR §26.51 (b) unbundling large contracts to make them more accessible to small businesses, requiring or encouraging prime contractors to subcontract portions of work that they might otherwise perform with their own forces is encouraged. The Iowa DOT does not require a certain contract size, and the state makes use of smaller contracts as a race-neutral measure.

This practice also follows a recent interagency Task Force on Federal contracting opportunities for small businesses, as a result of the President’s Memorandum dated April 26, 2010, move forward in the direction of unbundling to ensure that small businesses, including firms owned by women, minorities, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and service-disabled veterans, have fair access to Federal contracting.

2) Use of software integrated with the Iowa DOT's letting and contract administration software:
AASHTO has nearly completed revisions to their Trns•port software to include civil rights data tracking. Once completed this software will allow the civil rights staff to access existing contract and vendor data, as well as store and maintain civil rights data. Other STAs will be able to easily adapt the software to manage their civil rights data.

Point of Contact: Ed Kasper Roger Bierbaum
Organization: Iowa DOT Iowa DOT
Email: edward.kasper@dot.state.ia.us Roger.Bierbaum@dot.iowa.gov
Phone: (515) 239-1414 (515) 239-1414

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