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Title 49

Displaying title 49, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 49 was last amended 9/13/2021.

Title 49

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§ 26.45 How do recipients set overall goals?


(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, you must set an overall goal for DBE participation in your DOT-assisted contracts.

(2) If you are a FTA or FAA recipient who reasonably anticipates awarding (excluding transit vehicle purchases) $250,000 or less in FTA or FAA funds in prime contracts in a Federal fiscal year, you are not required to develop overall goals for FTA or FAA respectively for that fiscal year. However, if you have an existing DBE program, it must remain in effect and you must seek to fulfill the objectives outlined in § 26.1.

(b) Your overall goal must be based on demonstrable evidence of the availability of ready, willing and able DBEs relative to all businesses ready, willing and able to participate on your DOT-assisted contracts (hereafter, the “relative availability of DBEs”). The goal must reflect your determination of the level of DBE participation you would expect absent the effects of discrimination. You cannot simply rely on either the 10 percent national goal, your previous overall goal or past DBE participation rates in your program without reference to the relative availability of DBEs in your market.

(c) Step 1. You must begin your goal setting process by determining a base figure for the relative availability of DBEs. The following are examples of approaches that you may take toward determining a base figure. These examples are provided as a starting point for your goal setting process. Any percentage figure derived from one of these examples should be considered a basis from which you begin when examining all evidence available in your jurisdiction. These examples are not intended as an exhaustive list. Other methods or combinations of methods to determine a base figure may be used, subject to approval by the concerned operating administration.

(1) Use DBE Directories and Census Bureau Data. Determine the number of ready, willing and able DBEs in your market from your DBE directory. Using the Census Bureau's County Business Pattern (CBP) data base, determine the number of all ready, willing and able businesses available in your market that perform work in the same NAICS codes. (Information about the CBP data base may be obtained from the Census Bureau at their web site, Divide the number of DBEs by the number of all businesses to derive a base figure for the relative availability of DBEs in your market.

(2) Use a bidders list. Determine the number of DBEs that have bid or quoted (successful and unsuccessful) on your DOT-assisted prime contracts or subcontracts in the past three years. Determine the number of all businesses that have bid or quoted (successful and unsuccessful) on prime or subcontracts in the same time period. Divide the number of DBE bidders and quoters by the number of all businesses to derive a base figure for the relative availability of DBEs in your market. When using this approach, you must establish a mechanism (documented in your goal submission) to directly capture data on DBE and non-DBE prime and subcontractors that submitted bids or quotes on your DOT-assisted contracts.

(3) Use data from a disparity study. Use a percentage figure derived from data in a valid, applicable disparity study.

(4) Use the goal of another DOT recipient. If another DOT recipient in the same, or substantially similar, market has set an overall goal in compliance with this rule, you may use that goal as a base figure for your goal.

(5) Alternative methods. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, you may use other methods to determine a base figure for your overall goal. Any methodology you choose must be based on demonstrable evidence of local market conditions and be designed to ultimately attain a goal that is rationally related to the relative availability of DBEs in your market. The exclusive use of a list of prequalified contractors or plan holders, or a bidders list that does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section, is not an acceptable alternative means of determining the availability of DBEs.

(d) Step 2. Once you have calculated a base figure, you must examine all of the evidence available in your jurisdiction to determine what adjustment, if any, is needed to the base figure to arrive at your overall goal. If the evidence does not suggest an adjustment is necessary, then no adjustment shall be made.

(1) There are many types of evidence that must be considered when adjusting the base figure. These include:

(i) The current capacity of DBEs to perform work in your DOT-assisted contracting program, as measured by the volume of work DBEs have performed in recent years;

(ii) Evidence from disparity studies conducted anywhere within your jurisdiction, to the extent it is not already accounted for in your base figure; and

(iii) If your base figure is the goal of another recipient, you must adjust it for differences in your local market and your contracting program.

(2) If available, you must consider evidence from related fields that affect the opportunities for DBEs to form, grow and compete. These include, but are not limited to:

(i) Statistical disparities in the ability of DBEs to get the financing, bonding and insurance required to participate in your program;

(ii) Data on employment, self-employment, education, training and union apprenticeship programs, to the extent you can relate it to the opportunities for DBEs to perform in your program.

(3) If you attempt to make an adjustment to your base figure to account for the continuing effects of past discrimination (often called the “but for” factor) or the effects of an ongoing DBE program, the adjustment must be based on demonstrable evidence that is logically and directly related to the effect for which the adjustment is sought.

(e) Once you have determined a percentage figure in accordance with paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, you should express your overall goal as follows:

(1) If you are an FHWA recipient, as a percentage of all Federal-aid highway funds you will expend in FHWA-assisted contracts in the forthcoming three fiscal years.

(2) If you are an FTA or FAA recipient, as a percentage of all FT or FAA funds (exclusive of FTA funds to be used for the purchase of transit vehicles) that you will expend in FTA or FAA-assisted contracts in the three forthcoming fiscal years.

(3) In appropriate cases, the FHWA, FTA or FAA Administrator may permit or require you to express your overall goal as a percentage of funds for a particular grant or project or group of grants and/or projects, including entire projects. Like other overall goals, a project goal may be adjusted to reflect changed circumstances, with the concurrence of the appropriate operating administration.

(i) A project goal is an overall goal, and must meet all the substantive and procedural requirements of this section pertaining to overall goals.

(ii) A project goal covers the entire length of the project to which it applies.

(iii) The project goal should include a projection of the DBE participation anticipated to be obtained during each fiscal year covered by the project goal.

(iv) The funds for the project to which the project goal pertains are separated from the base from which your regular overall goal, applicable to contracts not part of the project covered by a project goal, is calculated.



(i) If you set your overall goal on a fiscal year basis, you must submit it to the applicable DOT operating administration by August 1 at three-year intervals, based on a schedule established by the FHWA, FTA, or FAA, as applicable, and posted on that agency's Web site.

(ii) You may adjust your three-year overall goal during the three-year period to which it applies, in order to reflect changed circumstances. You must submit such an adjustment to the concerned operating administration for review and approval.

(iii) The operating administration may direct you to undertake a review of your goal if necessary to ensure that the goal continues to fit your circumstances appropriately.

(iv) While you are required to submit an overall goal to FHWA, FTA, or FAA only every three years, the overall goal and the provisions of Sec. 26.47(c) apply to each year during that three-year period.

(v) You may make, for informational purposes, projections of your expected DBE achievements during each of the three years covered by your overall goal. However, it is the overall goal itself, and not these informational projections, to which the provisions of section 26.47(c) of this part apply.

(2) If you are a recipient and set your overall goal on a project or grant basis as provided in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, you must submit the goal for review at a time determined by the FHWA, FTA or FAA Administrator, as applicable.

(3) You must include with your overall goal submission a description of the methodology you used to establish the goal, incuding your base figure and the evidence with which it was calculated, and the adjustments you made to the base figure and the evidence you relied on for the adjustments. You should also include a summary listing of the relevant available evidence in your jurisdiction and, where applicable, an explanation of why you did not use that evidence to adjust your base figure. You must also include your projection of the portions of the overall goal you expect to meet through race-neutral and race-consioous measures, respectively (see 26.51(c)).

(4) You are not required to obtain prior operating administration concurrence with your overall goal. However, if the operating administration's review suggests that your overall goal has not been correctly calculated or that your method for calculating goals is inadequate, the operating administration may, after consulting with you, adjust your overall goal or require that you do so. The adjusted overall goal is binding on you. In evaluating the adequacy or soundness of the methodology used to derive the overall goal, the operating administration will be guided by goal setting principles and best practices identified by the Department in guidance issued pursuant to § 26.9.

(5) If you need additional time to collect data or take other steps to develop an approach to setting overall goals, you may request the approval of the concerned operating administration for an interim goal and/or goal-setting mechanism. Such a mechanism must:

(i) Reflect the relative availability of DBEs in your local market to the maximum extent feasible given the data available to you; and

(ii) Avoid imposing undue burdens on non-DBEs.

(6) Timely submission and operating administration approval of your overall goal is a condition of eligibility for DOT financial assistance.

(7) If you fail to establish and implement goals as provided in this section, you are not in compliance with this part. If you establish and implement goals in a way different from that provided in this part, you are not in compliance with this part. If you fail to comply with this requirement, you are not eligible to receive DOT financial assistance.


(1) In establishing an overall goal, you must provide for consultation and publication. This includes:

(i) Consultation with minority, women's and general contractor groups, community organizations, and other officials or organizations which could be expected to have information concerning the availability of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged businesses, the effects of discrimination on opportunities for DBEs, and your efforts to establish a level playing field for the participation of DBEs. The consultation must include a scheduled, direct, interactive exchange (e.g., a face-to-face meeting, video conference, teleconference) with as many interested stakeholders as possible focused on obtaining information relevant to the goal setting process, and it must occur before you are required to submit your methodology to the operating administration for review pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. You must document in your goal submission the consultation process you engaged in. Notwithstanding paragraph (f)(4) of this section, you may not implement your proposed goal until you have complied with this requirement.

(ii) A published notice announcing your proposed overall goal before submission to the operating administration on August 1st. The notice must be posted on your official Internet Web site and may be posted in any other sources (e.g., minority-focused media, trade association publications). If the proposed goal changes following review by the operating administration, the revised goal must be posted on your official Internet Web site.

(2) At your discretion, you may inform the public that the proposed overall goal and its rationale are available for inspection during normal business hours at your principal office and for a 30-day comment period. Notice of the comment period must include addresses to which comments may be sent. The public comment period will not extend the August 1st deadline set in paragraph (f) of this section.

(h) Your overall goals must provide for participation by all certified DBEs and must not be subdivided into group-specific goals.

[64 FR 5126, Feb. 2, 1999, as amended at 64 FR 34570, June 28, 1999; 65 FR 68951, Nov. 15, 2000; 68 FR 35553, June 16, 2003; 75 FR 5536, Feb. 3, 2010; 76 FR 5097, Jan. 28, 2011; 79 FR 59593, Oct. 2, 2014]