The OKI Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) is a federal program of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The program’s overall goal is to ensure that firms owned and controlled by minorities, women and other socially and economically disadvantaged individuals have the opportunity to grow and become self-sufficient. This is so these groups can compete on an equal basis with non-disadvantaged businesses.
DBE Program Frequently Asked Questions
Who are DBE eligible Recipients?
Firms owned and controlled by minorities, women and other socially and economically disadvantaged individuals subject to the eligibility criteria of this program.
How does a vendor get DBE certification?
Contact the Ohio Department of Transportation, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, or Indiana Department of Transportation for the DBE certification package for your state certification process. It is more efficient to apply to the state DOTs than to local governments, since their certification is recognized by a broader base of communities.
How long does it take to get DBE certified?
It depends on the agency reviewing your application and the backlog at the time. Once required information is received by the appropriate agency, certification should be granted in about 7-10 business days. Procedures and time requirements vary for state DOT agencies, so please contact the office of equal opportunity of the state in which you are applying.
What is the authority and purpose of the DBE program?
It is a federal program managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and authorized by 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 26. The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), as a grant recipient of DOT funds, must comply with these requirements.
The DBE program’s overall goal is to ensure that firms owned and controlled by minorities, women and other socially and economically disadvantaged individuals have the maximum opportunity to grow and become self-sufficient. They are then able to compete on equal basis with non-disadvantaged businesses for contracts administered by OKI.
What type of contracting is available?
A variety of contracting opportunities are available to regional firms who participate in the DBE Program, ranging from procuring office supplies to professional services contracts. Opportunities include:
- Office Supplies
- Environmental Consulting Services
- Engineering Services
- Temporary Help Services
- Marketing Research Services
- Computer Programming Services, Custom
- Computer Facilities Management Services
- Computer Merchant Wholesalers
- Radio Stations
- Television Broadcasting
- Newspaper Publishers
- Payroll Services
- Advertising – Public Notices
- Office Machine Repair and Maintenance
- Off-Site Storage
- Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals
What are the requirements and how to qualify as a DBE?
To qualify for certification as a DBE, an applicant must meet the following eligibility standards established in the 49 CFR 26:
A firm must exist, operate and be in business for profit. The disadvantaged owners of that firm must have the resources and expertise to operate in the firm’s field of work. Firms must provide more than prima facie evidence that they do not exist just on paper, and that they were not organized in an attempt to take advantage of project goals.
Small Business Size
A firm and its affiliates must qualify as a small business as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), under Regulations 43 CFR 121, as amended. A firm and any affiliates are required to meet SBA size standards for the firm’s primary area of work. They must also fall within the overall limits established by the DOT’s regulations and guidance.
Social and Economic Disadvantaged Status
Individuals intended for this protected status:
- Citizens and certain permanent residents who are found to be socially and economically disadvantaged under the 8(a) program of the small-business administration and granted an 8(a) certification.
- Women and members of one of the minority groups as designated in CFR 26.62, including individuals who are Black American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American, Subcontinent Asian American, when such individuals are so regarded by that particular minority community.
Authority and Purpose of the Program
Authorization for the program is 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 26, OKI, as a grant recipient of DOT funds, must comply with these requirements.
OKI will never discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex in the award and performance of any DOT assisted contract or in the administration of our DBE Program or the requirements of 49 CFR part 26.
(Note: The individual must be the owner of a business that fully meets 49 CFR Part 26 eligibility standards.)