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Ohio Department of Transportation 
2015-16 Disparity Study
 

 Study Progress

 
  • On February 12, 2015, ODOT staff met with the project team in Columbus, Ohio to initiate the disparity study.
  • On February 25, 2015, the project team initiated requests to ODOT for data on relevant contracts and procurements that the department awarded during the study period (January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014).
  • In March 2015, ODOT began providing contracting data to the project team to begin the utilization and availability analyses.
  • In April 2015 and May 2015, ODOT held public hearings around the state to share information about the studies and to receive input from the contracting community that will assist both agencies in conducting the studies.
  • In June 2015, the study team began conducting in-person interviews and telephone surveys with the Ohio contracting community. These interviews were completed in early October 2015.
  • In June 2015, the project team started its assessment of ODOT’s contracting policies and procedures. As part of that assessment, the study team interviewed ODOT staff. Interviews were completed on September 2, 2015.
  • Through the subsequent fall and winter, the project team analyzed utilization and availability of minority- and women-owned firms. It also assesed anecdotal evidence gathered at the public hearings, from written testimony, from the in-person and telephone interviews, and from the focus group discussions.
  • In April 2016, the study team submitted the study's final report, which ODOT has made available online, along with related materials.
  • On April 15, 2016, shortly after receiving the final report, ODOT submitted to the Federal Highway Administration a request for waiver from rules related to the federal DBE program so that Ohio could pursue innovative steps for reducing disparity and broadening opportunities for minority- and woman-owned businesses.

 

 

 ​Next Steps

 

Review Findings and Set Goals
ODOT will closely review the study to consider how its findings may be addressed for the department's 2017-2019 DBE goals, which will be available for public comment later in 2016.

Continue to Implement and Strengthen Programs
ODOT will continue to develop and deliver a broad range of efforts through the Division of Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which the department established in July 2015 to promote diversity and provide equitable opportunities both internally and externally.

Await Federal Highway Administration Response
In its request for waiver from federal DBE regulations, ODOT proposed three options for an innovative approach to reducing disparity in the DBE marketplace. The response from FHWA will guide additional courses of action by ODOT.