DBE Policy and Program

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy and Program is designed to ensure that small, minority and women-owned businesses have the opportunity to compete for and participate in procurement opportunities with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA). . Since the FWTA receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), the FWTA’s DBE Policy and Program complies with the US DOT’s DBE Policy and Program regulation and requirements as specified in Title 49 Part 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR Part 26). The FWTA’s Board of Directors, executives, management and staff value diversity and are fully committed to ensuring that small, minority and women-owned business have a level playing field to equitably compete for and participate in the FWTA’s procurement of all goods and services regardless of the funding source.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Goal

In accordance with the requirements of the US DOT, as set forth in 49 CFR Part 26, the FWTA, hereby notifies the public that it has proposed to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and agency of the US DOT, an overall DBE Goal for applicable goods and services during Federal Fiscal Years 2017-2019 (i.e. October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2019) of 25%.

Information pertaining to this goal and a description of how it was determined is available for public inspection during FWTA’s normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the FWTA’s Administrative Offices, 801 Cherry Street., Suite 850, Fort Worth, TX 76102. The proposed overall DBE goal will be available for inspection, for a minimum of 30 days following the date of this notice, at the above address. Written comments on the DBE goal will be accepted from the public for 45 days following the date of this notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

If my company is minority- or woman-owned, can I consider myself a DBE?

No. A minority or woman-owned company must meet all of the US DOT certification requirements as specified in 49 CFR part 26 to qualify as a DBE, which includes meeting the established definition of a small business and not exceeding a Personal Net Worth cap of $1.32 million.

How do I know if I qualify?

You must apply for and then go through a DBE certification process. We use the certification service provided by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (NCTRCA) located at 624 Six Flags Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Texas 76011. The certification service is free and an application can be obtained from the NCTRCA’s website at www.nctrca.org. The application can be completed on-line and support documentation uploaded directly into the application system. Once the NCTRCA receives a completed application and all requested support documentation, the certification review and determination will be made within approximately ninety (90) days. Applicants can also call the NCTRCA at 817.640.0606 or email it at mail@nctrca.org to ask questions, get clarifications or to obtain other relevant information. There are seventeen members that are part of the NCTRCA. Once a firm is certified, that firm will be part of the NCTRCA’s certification database and all seventeen members have access to that database. The firm will also be part of the statewide Texas Unified Certification Program’s (TUCP) DBE database.

What is the Texas Unified Certification Program (TUCP)?

The Texas Unified Certification Program (TUCP) is a statewide DBE certification program that is mandated by the US DOT. Every state in the United States must establish a statewide DBE certification program (Unified Certification Program). The US DOT, however, leaves it to each state to determine how the UCP will be structured. In Texas, the TUCP consists of six certifying agencies. Companies certified as DBEs by these six agencies are included in a statewide (TUCP) DBE certification database which can then be used by organizations and companies to identify DBEs for potential contracting opportunities. The NCTRCA is one of the six TUCP certifying agencies. Companies, therefore, that obtain DBE certification through the NCTRCA will, in addition to being included in the NCTRCA’s certification database, also be automatically included in the TUCP’s DBE database. More information on the TUCP can be obtained at the Texas Department of Transportation’s TUCP web page.

Once I am certified, will that guarantee that I get business from the FWTA?

No. Even if you are certified, you must still market your business, offer competitive prices, and offer goods and services that we solicit. Since we are a medium size public transportation agency, our amount and frequency of opportunities will be smaller and fewer than some of the larger public agencies in the North Texas area. We, however, are growing and with that growth there will also be greater opportunities to do business with us.

If my company is minority or woman-owned, am I required to be certified as a DBE company to compete for and do business with the FWTA?

No. DBE certification is not a requirement to do business with us. Any small, minority or woman-owned company can compete for and do business with us, just like any majority-owned company, without being certified as a DBE firm. The only requirements for any company to do business with us are to be a responsible and viable company that can cost effectively and efficiently provide the goods and/or services that we solicit. DBE certification, however, does enable us to count your business participation towards our established DBE goal which is a high priority for us.

How will a DBE certification improve my opportunities to compete for business with the FWTA?

A DBE certification status makes it easier to identify and ensure that small, minority- and women owned businesses are identified and solicited for bids and proposals, particularly for opportunities that are anticipated to be $50,000 or less. These opportunities afford greater flexibility for identifying and soliciting small, minority and women-owned business, especially DBEs. Also, on applicable solicitations that are anticipated to exceed $50,000, a DBE subcontracting goal may be assigned. Prime contractors must then seek to meet the DBE subcontracting goal. We will be able to provide primes with lists of DBEs and their contact information from the NCTRCA’s certification database and also direct them to the TUCP’s statewide DBE database.

If I am a non-DBE business seeking to bid or propose as a prime, how can I locate DBE firms to solicit for subcontracting opportunities in order to meet a FWTA established subcontracting goal?

Since we are a member of the NCTRCA, we have access to the NCTRCA’s database of DBE firms (approximately 3,250 certified DBE, MBE and WBE firms) and can provide, upon request, listings of DBE firms by type of work performed (i.e. electrical contractors, engineering firms, security firms, marketing consultants, attorneys, construction-concrete, etc…). Various chambers of commerce, technical assistance organizations, professional organizations, contractor associations, etc. are others ways to locate DBEs or potential DBEs.

Do you accept other types of certifications like HUBs or DBE certifications performed by an agency other than the NCTRCA or the other five certifying agencies of the TUCP?

Since we receive federal funding from the US DOT, only companies that have been DBE certified by the NCTRCA or one of the other five certifying agencies (i.e. the five other agencies, plus the NCTRCA make up the six TUCP members) will be accepted for inclusion towards meeting our DBE goal. We, however, reserve the right to contingently accept firms that have been DBE certified by a statewide Unified Certification Program (UCP) from another state. Further, if a company is certified as a DBE by another state’s UCP and is awarded a contract with us, we will request that the awardee apply for DBE certification through the NCTRCA or one of the other TUCP certifying agencies. DBE certification from another state’s UCP will, typically, speed up the certification process for the NCTRCA and its other five certifying agencies.

What is expected of prime contractors and consultants relative to the FWTA’s DBE Program?

We value and embrace diversity. Our commitment to our DBE Policy and Program reflects our resolve to ensure diversity within the community of firms with which we do business. We, consequently, expect to do business with primes that share and embrace our values. We expect primes to fully address our DBE Policy and Program, not only through the solicitation process, but also through the life of the contract. This includes treating DBEs with fairness, courtesy and respect; maintaining good communications with DBE subcontractors/subconsultants and with us; promptly paying DBEs, including retainage when the DBEs’ workscope has been completed; earnestly seeking to resolve work issues and problems; regularly submitting monthly reports; complying with its DBE commitment (which was part of the award review/evaluation process) through contract closeout and complying with all other applicable DBE Policy and Program requirements.

What do I need to do to participate in the FWTA’s DBE Program?

To participate in our DBE Program, first get certified as a DBE through the NCTRCA or one of the other five TUCP certifying agencies. If your home office is in the North Texas area, the TUCP will require you to be certified through the NCTRCA. The NCTRCA’s website is: www.nctrca.org

Next, get registered on our vendor database through our Procurement web page.

The above link will not only enable you to register in our vendor database, but you will also be able to review our published solicitations and, once registered, be able to download specific solicitations. Then, market your company to us and if you are looking to be a subcontractor to potential primes, attend our Pre-Bid and Pre-Proposal Conferences, attend any outreach functions that we sponsor, monitor our Procurement web page for formal solicitations and finally be persistent. We also strongly encourage you to do the same with the other member agencies of the NCTRCA and other organizations in the North Texas area.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Resources

FWTA DBE Program Information

¬ FWTA Monthly Prime Contractors DBE Payment Summary Report Form

¬ FWTA DBE Liaison Officer’s (DBELO) Contact Information

DBE Directories

¬ NCTRCA DBE and MWBE Listings: Request emailed to FWTA

¬ TUCP Directory through Direct Query

Certification
¬ North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (NCTRCA)