Focusing on ODOT contracts awarded between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2014, the study confirms a disparity of utilization. In other words, the percentage of contracting dollars received by minority and woman-owned businesses is disproportionate to their availability in the current marketplace.
In comparing utilization to availability, the study team established a scale of 100, in which any score below 100 would indicate disparity, and any score below 80 represents disparity to negative impact. Across six categories of woman- and minority-owned businesses, Ohio averaged a disparity index of 79, with the following DBE category scores:
Hispanic American: 21Black American: 31Asian Pacific American: 41Native American: 105White Woman: 118Subcontinent Asian American: 200+
The 2015-16 Disparity Study Final Report is a thorough 516-page report, complete with an executive summary and numerous appendices, and it is available for download here.
The studies are being conducted to help ODOT refine its implementation of the of the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and the Encouraging Diversity, Growth, and Equity (EDGE) Program. ODOT currently uses race-and gender-conscious measures (i.e., contract goals) as part of its implementation of the Federal DBE Program. The disparity study was designed to understand dynamics and conditions in the contracting marketplace, and to identify barriers that separate qualified small and disadvantaged businesses from highway construction and engineering contract opportunities.
ODOT's disparity study focused on heavy highway construction contractors and engineering consultants.
BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) and Exstare Federal Services Group, LLC (Exstare) have been engaged to conduct the disparity studies. The BBC/Exstare study team includes Diversity Supplier Research, a MBE and local diversity expert located in Columbus, OH; Holland & Knight, a national legal expert; and Customer Research International, a MBE and national survey expert.
Thousands of items of data were examined by the BBC/Exstare study team to determine the availability of minority-owned and woman-owned businesses to participate in ODOT business opportunities, and to compare that availability to actual participation between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014. The project team also analyzed ODOT's procurement policies, practices and procedures; the local markets in terms of access to financing, bonding, and insurance; and the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in non-public sector work.
ODOT must follow the methodology set forth in section 26.45 of 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 26 to set DBE participation goals. Those goals cover three-year periods and must be based on demonstrated evidence of the availability of ready, willing, and able DBEs relative to all firms ready, willing, and able to participate on ODOT federally-funded contracts. The goals must also reflect ODOT’s determination of the level of DBE participation it would expect absent the effects of discrimination. For information about section 26.45 of 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 26 click here.