Metro Disparity Study
Metro conducts a disparity study to determine if evidence of discrimination exists in the local transportation marketplace, and to support the use of Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) race- and gender-conscious contract goals in its program.
How the study serves Metro contracting
The data and analysis in a disparity study can help determine whether businesses are under- or over-utilized. All Federal Administration of Transportation (FTA) funding recipients have a primary responsibility to ensure non-discrimination in their programs and should act aggressively to remove any discriminatory barriers.
Scope and results
- Focused on many aspects of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, and seeks to identify the percentage of relevant contract dollars Metro awarded to minority-owned and woman-owned firms during the five-year study period from Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2015.
- Determined the percentage of contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of contracts that Metro typically awards.
- Examined the local market conditions, contracting policies, and assists Metro in implementing the federal DBE program in a legally-defensible manner.
- Satisfies the legal standards established by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Western States Paving Co., Inc. v. Washington State Department of Transportation, 407 F. 3d 983 (9th Cir. 2005) and guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration (FTA) concerning the implementation of federal DBE contracting programs.
- Provides availability and disparity analysis for consideration in the establishment of Metro’s overall DBE goal.
Components of the study
The study includes a comprehensive analysis of:
- The percentage of total transportation-related construction; architecture and engineering; professional services; goods; and other services contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses received on prime contracts and subcontracts between Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2015 (referred to as utilization);
- The percentage of dollars that those businesses would be expected to receive based on their availability to perform work on such prime contracts and subcontracts (referred to as availability);
- Any differences between the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in relevant contracts and the availability of those businesses to perform that work (referred to as disparities);
- Legal considerations surrounding implementation of the federal DBE program;
- Marketplace conditions for minorities, women, and minority- and woman-owned businesses;
- Contracting practices and assistance programs that Metro currently has in place; and
- Potential program measures that Metro could consider implementing as part of its implementation of the federal DBE program or other small business programs.
For more information and general questions:
Tashai R. Smith, DEO
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