New OIG Audit of the DBE and ACDBE Program is in the Works

ThinkstockPhotos-122413037In August 2015 the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General announced that it would be conducting an audit to 1) determine the number of new and existing DBE/ACDBE firms receiving contracts or leases at the Nation’s largest airports in fiscal year 2014 and 2) assess certification factors that aided and hampered new DBE/ACDBE firms pursued contracts or leases at these airports.  You can see a copy of the letter here.

As early as September 2015 firms that had been denied DBE certification or that had been decertified received an email from the OIG asking several questions regarding the applicants’ experience in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification. The following are the questions that were asked:

  1. How long did it take the certifying agency to notify your firm that it was not qualified to become a certified DBE and/or ACDBE?
  2. Were there any deficiencies with your application that needed remediation? If so, how were you notified? What timeframes were you given to correct the issue?
  3. You were denied DBE/ACDBE certification on [state the date]. What reasons were provided to you for the denial by the certifying authority?
  4. Please explain your process when applying for your DBE and/or ACDBE certification. Did this process play a factor in the denial?
  5. Did you appeal your denial with the certifying authority and/or the Departmental Office of Civil Rights? What actions were taken by the certifying authority and/or DOCR regarding your firm’s denial of certification?
  6. Was your firm assigned a liaison or a point of contact to check the status of application and/or discuss any concerns?
  7. Did your firm attend any training, outreach, etc., before requesting certification? Was any training offered?  If so, by who?

Responses were due October 9, 2015, so we hope this means the report will becoming out soon.