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e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2021

Title 49Subtitle APart 26Subpart B → §26.35

Title 49: Transportation
Subpart B—Administrative Requirements for DBE Programs for Federally-Assisted Contracting

§26.35   What role do business development and mentor-protégé programs have in the DBE program?

(a) You may or, if an operating administration directs you to, you must establish a DBE business development program (BDP) to assist firms in gaining the ability to compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program. You may require a DBE firm, as a condition of receiving assistance through the BDP, to agree to terminate its participation in the DBE program after a certain time has passed or certain objectives have been reached. See Appendix C of this part for guidance on administering BDP programs.

(b) As part of a BDP or separately, you may establish a “mentor-protégé” program, in which another DBE or non-DBE firm is the principal source of business development assistance to a DBE firm.

(1) Only firms you have certified as DBEs before they are proposed for participation in a mentor-protégé program are eligible to participate in the mentor-protégé program.

(2) During the course of the mentor-protégé relationship, you must:

(i) Not award DBE credit to a non-DBE mentor firm for using its own protégé firm for more than one half of its goal on any contract let by the recipient; and

(ii) Not award DBE credit to a non-DBE mentor firm for using its own protégé firm for more than every other contract performed by the protégé firm.

(3) For purposes of making determinations of business size under this part, you must not treat protégé firms as affiliates of mentor firms, when both firms are participating under an approved mentor-protégé program. See Appendix D of this part for guidance concerning the operation of mentor-protégé programs.

(c) Your BDPs and mentor-protégé programs must be approved by the concerned operating administration before you implement them. Once approved, they become part of your DBE program.

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