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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: November 15, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Department of Transportation; Threshold Requirements for Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Transportation Financial Assistance Programs

SOURCE: Federal Register, November 15, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 221, page 68949

AGENCIES: Department of Transportation (DOT)

ACTION: Interim Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: DOT is revising its regulations to change threshold requirements for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recipients and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recipients to establish DBE programs and submit overall goals, and to correct and clarify misleading language in the DBE regulations.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Guidance on the DBE program, including application procedures, is at http://osdbuweb.dot.gov/business/dbe/index.html.

DOT's DBE regulations are in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 23, Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Airport Concessions, and Part 26, Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs. This interim final rule addresses 49 CFR Part 26.

DATES: This interim final rule is effective November 15, 2000. Comments on the interim final rule must be submitted no later than January 2, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send comments (in triplicate) to the Docket Clerk, Attn: Docket No. OST-2000-7640, Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street, SW, Room PL-401, Washington DC, 20590. Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically by logging onto the Dockets Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov and following the instructions there.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Aguilar, Attorney, Office of General Counsel for Environmental, Civil Rights, and General Law, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Room 10102, Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-0365.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The DBE program was instituted in 1980, and it is intended to provide contracting opportunities for small disadvantaged concerns in DOT's highway, mass transit, and airport financial assistance programs.

On February 2, 1999, DOT amended the DBE regulations to reflect statutory and other changes that had taken place since 1980, particularly the June 1995 Supreme Court decision Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, in which the court determined that race-conscious affirmative action programs are subject to strict judicial scrutiny. This interim final rule is making changes to the DBE regulations which DOT believes are necessary to decrease the administrative burdens on various recipients of DOT funds, and to correct and clarify misleading language in the February 2, 1999, rule.

The following are the significant changes being made by this interim final rule:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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