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Part 26 Subpart C -- Goals, Good Faith Efforts, and Counting

Sec. 26.41 What is the role of the statutory 10 percent goal in this program?

(a) The statutes authorizing this program provide that, except to the extent the Secretary determines otherwise, not less than 10 percent of the authorized funds are to be expended with DBEs.

(b) This 10 percent goal is an aspirational goal at the national level, which the Department uses as a tool in evaluating and monitoring DBEs' opportunities to participate in DOT-assisted contracts.

(c) The national 10 percent goal does not authorize or require recipients to set overall or contract goals at the 10 percent level, or any other particular level, or to take any special administrative steps if their goals are above or below 10 percent.

Sec. 26.43 Can recipients use set-asides or quotas as part of this program?

(a) You are not permitted to use quotas for DBEs on DOT-assisted contracts subject to this part.

(b) You may not set-aside contracts for DBEs on DOT-assisted contracts subject to this part, except that, in limited and extreme circumstances, you may use set-asides when no other method could be reasonably expected to redress egregious instances of discrimination.

Sec. 26.45 How do recipients set overall goals?

(a) You must set an overall goal for DBE participation in your DOT- assisted contracts.
(b) Your overall goal must be based on demonstrable evidence of the availability of ready, willing and able DBEs relative to all businesses ready, willing and able to participate on your DOT-assisted contracts (hereafter, the ``relative availability of DBEs''). The goal must reflect your determination of the level of DBE participation you would expect absent the effects of discrimination. You cannot simply rely on either the 10 percent national goal, your previous overall goal or past DBE participation rates in your program without reference to the relative availability of DBEs in your market.

(c) Step 1. You must begin your goal setting process by determining a base figure for the relative availability of DBEs. The following are examples of approaches that you may take toward determining a base figure. These examples are provided as a starting point for your goal setting process. Any percentage figure derived from one of these examples should be considered a basis from which you begin when examining all evidence available in your jurisdiction. These examples are not intended as an exhaustive list. Other methods or combinations of methods to determine a base figure may be used, subject to approval by the concerned operating administration.

(1) Use DBE Directories and Census Bureau Data. Determine the number of ready, willing and able DBEs in your market from your DBE directory. Using the Census Bureau's County Business Pattern (CBP) data base, determine the number of all ready, willing and able businesses available in your market that perform work in the same SIC codes. (Information about the CBP data base may be obtained from the Census Bureau at their web site, www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/view/cbpview.html.) Divide the number of DBEs by the number of all businesses to derive a base figure for the relative availability of DBEs in your market.

(2) Use a bidders list. Determine the number of DBEs that have bid or quoted on your DOT-assisted prime contracts or subcontracts in the previous year. Determine the number of all businesses that have bid or quoted on prime or subcontracts in the same time period. Divide the number of DBE bidders and quoters by the number for all businesses to derive a base figure for the relative availability of DBEs in your market.

(3) Use data from a disparity study. Use a percentage figure derived from data in a valid, applicable disparity study.

(4) Use the goal of another DOT recipient. If another DOT recipient in the same, or substantially similar, market has set an overall goal in compliance with this rule, you may use that goal as a base figure for your goal.

(5) Alternative methods. Subject to the approval of the DOT operating administration, you may use other methods to determine a base figure for your overall goal. Any methodology you choose must be based on demonstrable evidence of local market conditions and be designed to ultimately attain a goal that is rationally related to the relative availability of DBEs in your market.

(d) Step 2. Once you have calculated a base figure, you must examine all of the evidence available in your jurisdiction to determine what adjustment, if any, is needed to the base figure in order to arrive at your overall goal.

(1) There are many types of evidence that must be considered when adjusting the base figure. These include:

(i) The current capacity of DBEs to perform work in your DOT- assisted contracting program, as measured by the volume of work DBEs have performed in recent years;

(ii) Evidence from disparity studies conducted anywhere within your jurisdiction, to the extent it is not already accounted for in your base figure; and

(iii) If your base figure is the goal of another recipient, you must adjust it for differences in your local market and your contracting program.

(2) You may also consider available evidence from related fields that affect the opportunities for DBEs to form, grow and compete. These include, but are not limited to:

(i) Statistical disparities in the ability of DBEs to get the financing, bonding and insurance required to participate in your program;

(ii) Data on employment, self-employment, education, training and union apprenticeship programs, to the extent you can relate it to the opportunities for DBEs to perform in your program.

(3) If you attempt to make an adjustment to your base figure to account for the continuing effects of past discrimination (often called the ``but for'' factor) or the effects of an ongoing DBE program, the adjustment must be based on demonstrable evidence that is logically and directly related to the effect for which the adjustment is sought.

(e) Once you have determined a percentage figure in accordance with paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, you should express your overall goal as follows:

(1) If you are an FHWA recipient, as a percentage of all Federal- aid highway funds you will expend in FHWA-assisted contracts in the forthcoming fiscal year;

(2) If you are an FTA or FAA recipient, as a percentage of all FTA or FAA funds (exclusive of FTA funds to be used for the purchase of transit vehicles) that you will expend in FTA or FAA-assisted contracts in the forthcoming fiscal year. In appropriate cases, the FTA or FAA Administrator may permit you to express your overall goal as a percentage of funds for a particular grant or project or group of grants and/or projects.

(f)(1) If you set overall goals on a fiscal year basis, you must submit them to the applicable DOT operating administration for review on August 1 of each year, unless the Administrator of the concerned operating administration establishes a different submission date.

(2) If you are an FTA or FAA recipient and set your overall goal on a project or grant basis, you must submit the goal for review at a time determined by the FTA or FAA Administrator.

(3) You must include with your overall goal submission a description of the methodology you used to establish the goal, including your base figure and the evidence with which it was calculated, and the adjustments you made to the base figure and the evidence relied on for the adjustments. You should also include a summary listing of the relevant available evidence in your jurisdiction and, where applicable, an explanation of why you did not use that evidence to adjust your base figure. You must also include your projection of the portions of the overall goal you expect to meet through race-neutral and race-conscious measures, respectively (see Sec. 26.51(c)).

(4) You are not required to obtain prior operating administration concurrence with the your overall goal. However, if the operating administration's review suggests that your overall goal has not been correctly calculated, or that your method for calculating goals is inadequate, the operating administration may, after consulting with you, adjust your overall goal or require that you do so. The adjusted overall goal is binding on you.

(5) If you need additional time to collect data or take other steps to develop an approach to setting overall goals, you may request the approval of the concerned operating administration for an interim goal and/or goal-setting mechanism. Such a mechanism must:

(i) Reflect the relative availability of DBEs in your local market to the maximum extent feasible given the data available to you; and

(ii) Avoid imposing undue burdens on non-DBEs.

(g) In establishing an overall goal, you must provide for public participation. This public participation must include:

(1) Consultation with minority, women's and general contractor groups, community organizations, and other officials or organizations which could be expected to have information concerning the availability of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged businesses, the effects of discrimination on opportunities for DBEs, and your efforts to establish a level playing field for the participation of DBEs.

(2) A published notice announcing your proposed overall goal, informing the public that the proposed goal and its rationale are available for inspection during normal business hours at your principal office for 30 days following the date of the notice, and informing the public that you and the Department will accept comments on the goals for 45 days from the date of the notice. The notice must include addresses to which comments may be sent, and you must publish it in general circulation media and available minority-focused media and trade association publications.

(h) Your overall goals must provide for participation by all certified DBEs and must not be subdivided into group-specific goals.

Sec. 26.47 Can recipients be penalized for failing to meet overall goals?

(a) You cannot be penalized, or treated by the Department as being in noncompliance with this rule, because your DBE participation falls short of your overall goal, unless you have failed to administer your program in good faith.

(b) If you do not have an approved DBE program or overall goal, or if you fail to implement your program in good faith, you are in noncompliance with this part.

Sec. 26.49 How are overall goals established for transit vehicle manufacturers?

(a) If you are an FTA recipient, you must require in your DBE program that each transit vehicle manufacturer, as a condition of being authorized to bid or propose on FTA-assisted transit vehicle procurements, certify that it has complied with the requirements of this section. You do not include FTA assistance used in transit vehicle procurements in the base amount from which your overall goal is calculated.

(b) If you are a transit vehicle manufacturer, you must establish and submit for FTA's approval an annual overall percentage goal. In setting your overall goal, you should be guided, to the extent applicable, by the principles underlying Sec. 26.45. The base from which you calculate this goal is the amount of FTA financial assistance included in transit vehicle contracts you will perform during the fiscal year in question. You must exclude from this base funds attributable to work performed outside the United States and its territories, possessions, and commonwealths. The requirements and procedures of this part with respect to submission and approval of overall goals apply to you as they do to recipients.

(c) As a transit vehicle manufacturer, you may make the certification required by this section if you have submitted the goal this section requires and FTA has approved it or not disapproved it.

(d) As a recipient, you may, with FTA approval, establish project- specific goals for DBE participation in the procurement of transit vehicles in lieu of complying through the procedures of this section.

(e) If you are an FHWA or FAA recipient, you may, with FHWA or FAA approval, use the procedures of this section with respect to procurements of vehicles or specialized equipment. If you choose to do so, then the manufacturers of this equipment must meet the same requirements (including goal approval by FHWA or FAA) as transit vehicle manufacturers must meet in FTA-assisted procurements.

Sec. 26.51 What means do recipients use to meet overall goals?

(a) You must meet the maximum feasible portion of your overall goal by using race-neutral means of facilitating DBE participation. Race- neutral DBE participation includes any time a DBE wins a prime contract through customary competitive procurement procedures, is awarded a subcontract on a prime contract that does not carry a DBE goal, or even if there is a DBE goal, wins a subcontract from a prime contractor that did not consider its DBE status in making the award (e.g., a prime contractor that uses a strict low bid system to award subcontracts).

(b) Race-neutral means include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Arranging solicitations, times for the presentation of bids, quantities, specifications, and delivery schedules in ways that facilitate DBE, and other small businesses, participation (e.g., unbundling large contracts to make them more accessible to small businesses, requiring or encouraging prime contractors to subcontract portions of work that they might otherwise perform with their own forces);

(2) Providing assistance in overcoming limitations such as inability to obtain bonding or financing (e.g., by such means as simplifying the bonding process, reducing bonding requirements, eliminating the impact of surety costs from bids, and providing services to help DBEs, and other small businesses, obtain bonding and financing);

(3) Providing technical assistance and other services;

(4) Carrying out information and communications programs on contracting procedures and specific contract opportunities (e.g., ensuring the inclusion of DBEs, and other small businesses, on recipient mailing lists for bidders; ensuring the dissemination to bidders on prime contracts of lists of potential subcontractors; provision of information in languages other than English, where appropriate);

(5) Implementing a supportive services program to develop and improve immediate and long-term business management, record keeping, and financial and accounting capability for DBEs and other small businesses;

(6) Providing services to help DBEs, and other small businesses, improve long-term development, increase opportunities to participate in a variety of kinds of work, handle increasingly significant projects, and achieve eventual self-sufficiency;

(7) Establishing a program to assist new, start-up firms, particularly in fields in which DBE participation has historically been low;

(8) Ensuring distribution of your DBE directory, through print and electronic means, to the widest feasible universe of potential prime contractors; and

(9) Assisting DBEs, and other small businesses, to develop their capability to utilize emerging technology and conduct business through electronic media.

(c) Each time you submit your overall goal for review by the concerned operating administration, you must also submit your projection of the portion of the goal that you expect to meet through race-neutral means and your basis for that projection. This projection is subject to approval by the concerned operating administration, in conjunction with its review of your overall goal.

(d) You must establish contract goals to meet any portion of your overall goal you do not project being able to meet using race-neutral means.

(e) The following provisions apply to the use of contract goals:

(1) You may use contract goals only on those DOT-assisted contracts that have subcontracting possibilities.

(2) You are not required to set a contract goal on every DOT- assisted contract. You are not required to set each contract goal at the same percentage level as the overall goal. The goal for a specific contract may be higher or lower than that percentage level of the overall goal, depending on such factors as the type of work involved, the location of the work, and the availability of DBEs for the work of the particular contract. However, over the period covered by your overall goal, you must set contract goals so that they will cumulatively result in meeting any portion of your overall goal you do not project being able to meet through the use of race-neutral means.

(3) Operating administration approval of each contract goal is not necessarily required. However, operating administrations may review and approve or disapprove any contract goal you establish.

(4) Your contract goals must provide for participation by all certified DBEs and must not be subdivided into group-specific goals.

(f) To ensure that your DBE program continues to be narrowly tailored to overcome the effects of discrimination, you must adjust your use of contract goals as follows:

(1) If your approved projection under paragraph (c) of this section estimates that you can meet your entire overall goal for a given year through race-neutral means, you must implement your program without setting contract goals during that year.

Example to Paragraph (f)(1): Your overall goal for Year I is 12 percent. You estimate that you can obtain 12 percent or more DBE participation through the use of race-neutral measures, without any use of contract goals. In this case, you do not set any contract goals for the contracts that will be performed in Year I.

(2) If, during the course of any year in which you are using contract goals, you determine that you will exceed your overall goal, you must reduce or eliminate the use of contract goals to the extent necessary to ensure that the use of contract goals does not result in exceeding the overall goal. If you determine that you will fall short of your overall goal, then you must make appropriate modifications in your use of race-neutral and/or race-conscious measures to allow you to meet the overall goal.

Example to Paragraph (f)(2): In Year II, your overall goal is 12 percent. You have estimated that you can obtain 5 percent DBE participation through use of race-neutral measures. You therefore plan to obtain the remaining 7 percent participation through use of DBE goals. By September, you have already obtained 11 percent DBE participation for the year. For contracts let during the remainder of the year, you use contract goals only to the extent necessary to obtain an additional one percent DBE participation. However, if you determine in September that your participation for the year is likely to be only 8 percent total, then you would increase your use of race-neutral and/or race-conscious means during the remainder of the year in order to achieve your overall goal.

(3) If the DBE participation you have obtained by race-neutral means alone meets or exceeds your overall goals for two consecutive years, you are not required to make a projection of the amount of your goal you can meet using such means in the next year. You do not set contract goals on any contracts in the next year. You continue using only race-neutral means to meet your overall goals unless and until you do not meet your overall goal for a year.

Example to Paragraph (f)(3): Your overall goal for Years I and Year II is 10 percent. The DBE participation you obtain through race-neutral measures alone is 10 percent or more in each year. (For this purpose, it does not matter whether you obtained additional DBE participation through using contract goals in these years.) In Year III and following years, you do not need to make a projection under paragraph (c) of this section of the portion of your overall goal you expect to meet using race-neutral means. You simply use race- neutral means to achieve your overall goals. However, if in Year VI your DBE participation falls short of your overall goal, then you must make a paragraph (c) projection for Year VII and, if necessary, resume use of contract goals in that year.

(4) If you obtain DBE participation that exceeds your overall goal in two consecutive years through the use of contract goals (i.e., not through the use of race-neutral means alone), you must reduce your use of contract goals proportionately in the following year.

Example to Paragraph (f)(4): In Years I and II, your overall goal is 12 percent, and you obtain 14 and 16 percent DBE participation, respectively. You have exceeded your goals over the two-year period by an average of 25 percent. In Year III, your overall goal is again 12 percent, and your paragraph (c) projection estimates that you will obtain 4 percent DBE participation through race-neutral means and 8 percent through contract goals. You then reduce the contract goal projection by 25 percent (i.e., from 8 to 6 percent) and set contract goals accordingly during the year. If in Year III you obtain 11 percent participation, you do not use this contract goal adjustment mechanism for Year IV, because there have not been two consecutive years of exceeding overall goals.

(g) In any year in which you project meeting part of your goal through race-neutral means and the remainder through contract goals, you must maintain data separately on DBE achievements in those contracts with and without contract goals, respectively. You must report this data to the concerned operating administration as provided in Sec. 26.11.

Sec. 26.53 What are the good faith efforts procedures recipients follow in situations where there are contract goals?

(a) When you have established a DBE contract goal, you must award the contract only to a bidder/offeror who makes good faith efforts to meet it. You must determine that a bidder/offeror has made good faith efforts if the bidder/offeror does either of the following things:

(1) Documents that it has obtained enough DBE participation to meet the goal; or

(2) Documents that it made adequate good faith efforts to meet the goal, even though it did not succeed in obtaining enough DBE participation to do so. If the bidder/offeror does document adequate good faith efforts, you must not deny award of the contract on the basis that the bidder/offeror failed to meet the goal. See Appendix A of this part for guidance in determining the adequacy of a bidder/ offeror's good faith efforts.

(b) In your solicitations for DOT-assisted contracts for which a contract goal has been established, you must require the following:

(1) Award of the contract will be conditioned on meeting the requirements of this section;

(2) All bidders/offerors will be required to submit the following information to the recipient, at the time provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section:

(i) The names and addresses of DBE firms that will participate in the contract;

(ii) A description of the work that each DBE will perform;

(iii) The dollar amount of the participation of each DBE firm participating;

(iv) Written documentation of the bidder/offeror's commitment to use a DBE subcontractor whose participation it submits to meet a contract goal;

(v) Written confirmation from the DBE that it is participating in the contract as provided in the prime contractor's commitment; and

(vi) If the contract goal is not met, evidence of good faith efforts (see Appendix A of this part); and

(3) At your discretion, the bidder/offeror must present the information required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section--

(i) Under sealed bid procedures, as a matter of responsiveness, or with initial proposals, under contract negotiation procedures; or

(ii) At any time before you commit yourself to the performance of the contract by the bidder/offeror, as a matter of responsibility.

(c) You must make sure all information is complete and accurate and adequately documents the bidder/offeror's good faith efforts before committing yourself to the performance of the contract by the bidder/ offeror.

(d) If you determine that the apparent successful bidder/offeror has failed to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, you must, before awarding the contract, provide the bidder/offeror an opportunity for administrative reconsideration.

(1) As part of this reconsideration, the bidder/offeror must have the opportunity to provide written documentation or argument concerning the issue of whether it met the goal or made adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(2) Your decision on reconsideration must be made by an official who did not take part in the original determination that the bidder/ offeror failed to meet the goal or make adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(3) The bidder/offeror must have the opportunity to meet in person with your reconsideration official to discuss the issue of whether it met the goal or made adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(4) You must send the bidder/offeror a written decision on reconsideration, explaining the basis for finding that the bidder did or did not meet the goal or make adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(5) The result of the reconsideration process is not administratively appealable to the Department of Transportation.

(e) In a ``design-build'' or ``turnkey'' contracting situation, in which the recipient lets a master contract to a contractor, who in turn lets subsequent subcontracts for the work of the project, a recipient may establish a goal for the project. The master contractor then establishes contract goals, as appropriate, for the subcontracts it lets. Recipients must maintain oversight of the master contractor's activities to ensure that they are conducted consistent with the requirements of this part.

(f)(1) You must require that a prime contractor not terminate for convenience a DBE subcontractor listed in response to paragraph (b)(2) of this section (or an approved substitute DBE firm) and then perform the work of the terminated subcontract with its own forces or those of an affiliate, without your prior written consent.

(2) When a DBE subcontractor is terminated, or fails to complete its work on the contract for any reason, you must require the prime contractor to make good faith efforts to find another DBE subcontractor to substitute for the original DBE. These good faith efforts shall be directed at finding another DBE to perform at least the same amount of work under the contract as the DBE that was terminated, to the extent needed to meet the contract goal you established for the procurement.

(3) You must include in each prime contract a provision for appropriate administrative remedies that you will invoke if the prime contractor fails to comply with the requirements of this section.

(g) You must apply the requirements of this section to DBE bidders/ offerors for prime contracts. In determining whether a DBE bidder/ offeror for a prime contract has met a contract goal, you count the work the DBE has committed to performing with its own forces as well as the work that it has committed to be performed by DBE subcontractors and DBE suppliers.

Sec. 26.55 How is DBE participation counted toward goals?

(a) When a DBE participates in a contract, you count only the value of the work actually performed by the DBE toward DBE goals.

(1) Count the entire amount of that portion of a construction contract (or other contract not covered by paragraph (a)(2) of this section) that is performed by the DBE's own forces. Include the cost of supplies and materials obtained by the DBE for the work of the contract, including supplies purchased or equipment leased by the DBE (except supplies and equipment the DBE subcontractor purchases or leases from the prime contractor or its affiliate).

(2) Count the entire amount of fees or commissions charged by a DBE firm for providing a bona fide service, such as professional, technical, consultant, or managerial services, or for providing bonds or insurance specifically required for the performance of a DOT- assisted contract, toward DBE goals, provided you determine the fee to be reasonable and not excessive as compared with fees customarily allowed for similar services.

(3) When a DBE subcontracts part of the work of its contract to another firm, the value of the subcontracted work may be counted toward DBE goals only if the DBE's subcontractor is itself a DBE. Work that a DBE subcontracts to a non-DBE firm does not count toward DBE goals.

(b) When a DBE performs as a participant in a joint venture, count a portion of the total dollar value of the contract equal to the distinct, clearly defined portion of the work of the contract that the DBE performs with its own forces toward DBE goals.

(c) Count expenditures to a DBE contractor toward DBE goals only if the DBE is performing a commercially useful function on that contract.

(1) A DBE performs a commercially useful function when it is responsible for execution of the work of the contract and is carrying out its responsibilities by actually performing, managing, and supervising the work involved. To perform a commercially useful function, the DBE must also be responsible, with respect to materials and supplies used on the contract, for negotiating price, determining quality and quantity, ordering the material, and installing (where applicable) and paying for the material itself. To determine whether a DBE is performing a commercially useful function, you must evaluate the amount of work subcontracted, industry practices, whether the amount the firm is to be paid under the contract is commensurate with the work it is actually performing and the DBE credit claimed for its performance of the work, and other relevant factors.

(2) A DBE does not perform a commercially useful function if its role is limited to that of an extra participant in a transaction, contract, or project through which funds are passed in order to obtain the appearance of DBE participation. In determining whether a DBE is such an extra participant, you must examine similar transactions, particularly those in which DBEs do not participate.

(3) If a DBE does not perform or exercise responsibility for at least 30 percent of the total cost of its contract with its own work force, or the DBE subcontracts a greater portion of the work of a contract than would be expected on the basis of normal industry practice for the type of work involved, you must presume that it is not performing a commercially useful function.

(4) When a DBE is presumed not to be performing a commercially useful function as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the DBE may present evidence to rebut this presumption. You may determine that the firm is performing a commercially useful function given the type of work involved and normal industry practices.

(5) Your decisions on commercially useful function matters are subject to review by the concerned operating administration, but are not administratively appealable to DOT.

(d) Use the following factors in determining whether a DBE trucking company is performing a commercially useful function:

(1) The DBE must be responsible for the management and supervision of the entire trucking operation for which it is responsible on a particular contract, and there cannot be a contrived arrangement for the purpose of meeting DBE goals.

(2) The DBE must itself own and operate at least one fully licensed, insured, and operational truck used on the contract.

(3) The DBE receives credit for the total value of the transportation services it provides on the contract using trucks it owns, insures, and operates using drivers it employs.

(4) The DBE may lease trucks from another DBE firm, including an owner-operator who is certified as a DBE. The DBE who leases trucks from another DBE receives credit for the total value of the transportation services the lessee DBE provides on the contract.

(5) The DBE may also lease trucks from a non-DBE firm, including an owner-operator. The DBE who leases trucks from a non-DBE is entitled to credit only for the fee or commission it receives as a result of the lease arrangement. The DBE does not receive credit for the total value of the transportation services provided by the lessee, since these services are not provided by a DBE.

(6) For purposes of this paragraph (d), a lease must indicate that the DBE has exclusive use of and control over the truck. This does not preclude the leased truck from working for others during the term of the lease with the consent of the DBE, so long as the lease gives the DBE absolute priority for use of the leased truck. Leased trucks must display the name and identification number of the DBE.

(e) Count expenditures with DBEs for materials or supplies toward DBE goals as provided in the following:

(1)(i) If the materials or supplies are obtained from a DBE manufacturer, count 100 percent of the cost of the materials or supplies toward DBE goals.

(ii) For purposes of this paragraph (e)(1), a manufacturer is a firm that operates or maintains a factory or establishment that produces, on the premises, the materials, supplies, articles, or equipment required under the contract and of the general character described by the specifications.

(2)(i) If the materials or supplies are purchased from a DBE regular dealer, count 60 percent of the cost of the materials or supplies toward DBE goals.

(ii) For purposes of this section, a regular dealer is a firm that owns, operates, or maintains a store, warehouse, or other establishment in which the materials, supplies, articles or equipment of the general character described by the specifications and required under the contract are bought, kept in stock, and regularly sold or leased to the public in the usual course of business.

(A) To be a regular dealer, the firm must be an established, regular business that engages, as its principal business and under its own name, in the purchase and sale or lease of the products in question.

(B) A person may be a regular dealer in such bulk items as petroleum products, steel, cement, gravel, stone, or asphalt without owning, operating, or maintaining a place of business as provided in this paragraph (e)(2)(ii) if the person both owns and operates distribution equipment for the products. Any supplementing of regular dealers' own distribution equipment shall be by a long-term lease agreement and not on an ad hoc or contract-by-contract basis.

(C) Packagers, brokers, manufacturers' representatives, or other persons who arrange or expedite transactions are not regular dealers within the meaning of this paragraph (e)(2).

(3) With respect to materials or supplies purchased from a DBE which is neither a manufacturer nor a regular dealer, count the entire amount of fees or commissions charged for assistance in the procurement of the materials and supplies, or fees or transportation charges for the delivery of materials or supplies required on a job site, toward DBE goals, provided you determine the fees to be reasonable and not excessive as compared with fees customarily allowed for similar services. Do not count any portion of the cost of the materials and supplies themselves toward DBE goals, however.

(f) If a firm is not currently certified as a DBE in accordance with the standards of subpart D of this part at the time of the execution of the contract, do not count the firm's participation toward any DBE goals, except as provided for in Sec. 26.87(i)).

(g) Do not count the dollar value of work performed under a contract with a firm after it has ceased to be certified toward your overall goal.

(h) Do not count the participation of a DBE subcontractor toward the prime contractor's DBE achievements or your overall goal until the amount being counted toward the goal has been paid to the DBE.

Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2013