Sneak Preview: Memo Warns About Ineligible Firms in DBE Program

November 6, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) After discovering that three suspended or debarred firms were listed as eligible contractors in the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, DOT’s Office of Inspector General expressed concern that other ineligible firms may be listed on state DBE directories.

The DBE program helps socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own and operate small businesses to participate in contracts within DOT’s federally funded programs (see ¶430 in the Single Audit Information Service). OIG recently issued a management advisory memorandum to the DOT Office of General Counsel after OIG had identified three suspended or debarred firms as part of a review of 26 state DBE directories, which list all firms eligible to participate in the DBE program.

“Because DOT lacks sufficient DBE guidance to help state and local transportation agencies safeguard against federally funded awards to firms that are suspended or debarred, instances like those we found point to the possibility that other ineligible firms may be listed on state DBE directories,” OIG said. “In addition, DBE certification and oversight weaknesses further increase the risk that DBE work may be awarded to suspended or debarred firms.”

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