DBE Certifications in Idaho

Idaho has a state-wide DBE program to remove barriers for and ensure nondiscrimination of Federally eligible Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) in the award and administration of USDOT-assisted contracts in accordance with applicable law. Like many other states, Idaho sets annual quotas to dictate the amount of overall Department of Transportation funds and other State agency funds that are allocated toward DBE certified (and thus, minority run) businesses. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has an overall Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal for its Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-funded contracting of 8.30 percent for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2018 through 2020. These percentages differ for other state and regional procurement programs.

Collectively, these programs provide opportunities for owners who qualify as ‘disadvantaged’ to grow their small businesses by being able to compete for significant government contracts. View the full report here: https://apps.itd.idaho.gov/Apps/ocr/documents/2018-2020_FHWA_Draft_Methdology.pdf

Statewide Certification Programs

IDAHO UNIFIED CERTIFICATION PROGRAM (IUCP)

In efforts to increase cooperation between minority-run businesses and the government, the State of Idaho has established the Idaho Unified Certification Program (IUCP). The Idaho Transportation Department Office of Civil Rights (IDT OCR) will oversee the process for designation of a Certification Committee as stated in the approved ITD DBE Program under section III DBE Certification Process, A. Certification Committee.

The certification committee is made up of four members representing different disciplines of ITD, including construction, professional agreements and finance. One spot is permanently designated for the Office of Civil Rights Contract Compliance Officer. All members are required to complete the online DBE Certification Training offered by the FAA. The DBE Program Coordinator serves in an advisory capacity. The designated Certification Committee meets at least every 30 days, and makes eligibility decisions within 90 days of a business’s application submission.

To apply online for DBE certification, visit this page: https://itd.dbesystem.com

The ITD and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) maintain an online directory, found at this page: https://itd.dbesystem.com/

The process for acquiring DBE Certification is pretty straightforward. There are five main steps, and a DBE coordinator is available for help if you get stuck with any particular step

  1. Apply through the Idaho Unified Certification Program Diversity Management System, linked here.
  2. The DBE Program Coordinator screens applicant firms to determine whether the services/products provided by the firm are utilized in USDOT programs.
  3. An on-site review will be conducted within two-weeks of DBE Program Coordinator review. If the applicant owner(s) is unable to be contacted, unreasonably delays the review date, or fails to appear for the review, the SCO advises the DBE Program Coordinator who investigates the situation.
  4. If a firm is already DBE certified in their home-state, pending verification and approval by the Idaho Transportation Department, the firm may automatically receive DBE certification in the state of Idaho if the firm maintains their home state certification.
  5. The application is reviewed by the Certification Committee, which meets at the call of the DBE Program Coordinator monthly or more frequently if necessary.
  6. On eligibility of in-state firms will be made within 90 days of receipt of all required information. This time period may be extended once for an additional

60 days with written notice to the firm. Decisions on eligibility on out-of-state applicants will be made within 60 days of receipt of all required information with no opportunity for extension of the time frame.

For a list of common mistakes on DBE applications, visit this page: https://apps.itd.idaho.gov/Apps/ocr/documents/Tripwires.pdf. It is wise to check out the common mistakes before you start in on the application itself.  More information may be found in the Idaho Transportation Department Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Plan.

There is also an appeal process in the unlikely event a company believes that they have been wrongly denied certification. You can file a written appeal to the United States Department of Transportation, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, External Civil Rights Program Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. 20590. Appeals must be submitted within ninety (90) days after certification has been denied. For more information, visit this page: https://apps.itd.idaho.gov/apps/ocr/civil/pdf/UCP.pdf

Basic eligibility requirements to qualify as a DBE include:

  • Be existing, operational, and “for profit”
  • Operate independently; or, for subsidiaries, operate self-sufficiently
  • Meet the Federal definition of a “small business concern”
  • Establish at least 51% real and substantial ownership
  • Possess the power and expertise to control the daily operations and management of the firm
  • Meet the Federal definition of “socially and economically disadvantaged”

A more detailed explanation of the eligibility criteria can be found in the DBE Program Plan, linked here: https://apps.itd.idaho.gov/Apps/ocr/documents/dbeplan.pdf

Local and Regional Programs

BOISE AIRPORT, CITY OF BOISE, DEPARTMENT OF AVIATION, DBE PROGRAM

The Boise Airport has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It is the policy of Boise Airport to ensure that DBEs, as defined in part 26, have an equal opportunity to receive and participate in DOT-assisted contracts. It is also their policy:

  1. To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts;
  2. To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts;
  3. To ensure that the DBE Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
  4. To ensure that only firms that fully meet 49 CFR Part 26 eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs;
  5. To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT assisted contracts;
  6. To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE Program.

For a more detailed explanation of the Boise Airport DBE program, visit this page: https://www.iflyboise.com/media/1431/2018dbe-program.pdf

The Deputy Director of Facilities and Engineering is the designated Liaison Officer for the Boise Airport’s DBE program. The Liaison Officer is Matt Petaja. He can be reached at (208) 972-8392 or mpetaja@cityofboise.org. The DBE Liaison Officer (“DBELO”) is responsible for implementing all aspects of the DBE program and ensuring compliance with all provisions of 49 CFR Part 26. The DBE Liaison Officer has direct, independent access to the Airport Director concerning DBE program matters.

ITD utilizes the Uniform Certification Application for DBE/ACDBE certification applications, linked here: https://itd.dbesystem.com/?TN=itd

BOISE AIRPORT, CITY OF BOISE, DEPARTMENT OF AVIATION, ACDBE PROGRAM

The Boise Airport has established an Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Program in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The FAA may review Boise Airport’s compliance with this part at any time, including but not limited to, reviews of paperwork, on site reviews, and review of the airport sponsor’s monitoring and enforcement mechanism, as appropriate. The FAA Office of Civil Rights may initiate a compliance review based on complaints received.

The Airport’s ACDBE Liaison Officer (ACDBELO) is Amy Snyder. She can be reached by telephone at (208) 383-3110 or by e-mail at asnyder@cityofboise.org. the ACDBELO is responsible for implementing all aspects of the ACDBE program and ensuring that Boise Airport complies with all provision of 49 CFR Part 23. The ACDBELO has direct, independent access to the Airport Director concerning ACDBE program matters. See the full ACDBE Program documentation here: https://www.iflyboise.com/media/1453/final-boise-acdbe-program-042518.pdf.

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & WELFARE

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare assists women, minority and disadvantaged business owners to become certified in the USDOT DBE program. This provides a wide range of technical assistance to certified DBE companies, helping to bring prime contractors and DBE companies together (to increase participation by certified DBE companies on federally funded highway-related projects). For a full list of supported counties and relevant contact information, see the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare’s website here: https://211idaho.communityos.org/zf/profile/program/id/844210

IDAHO SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC)

The SBDC has partnered with the Idaho Transportation Department to provide supportive services to Idaho-based DBEs. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires state transportation departments to implement Business Development Programs for their DBEs to provide firm-specific training and counseling in management, finance and marketing.

The DBE Business Development Program offered through the Idaho SBDC has two components: a Developmental Stage and a Transitional Stage.

The Developmental Stage focuses on identifying DBE strengths and weaknesses through a Business Self-Assessment. The SBDC will aid DBEs in crafting an appropriate business plan to be regularly revised. The advanced Transitional Stage will be for DBEs beyond the “beginner” stage, determined to become prime contractors or expand into new areas of expertise in highway design or construction.

Eligibility criteria for program applications must be:

  • a small emerging business based in Idaho;
  • primarily engaged in highway design/construction activities;
  • “ready, willing and able” to bid on ITD highway design, construction and maintenance solicitations.

For more information, visit the SBDC Idaho homepage: https://idahosbdc.org/