OLYMPIA – Vendors, contactors, industry representatives and others who have experience with transportation-related contracts are invited to participate in a new disparity study that will help determine whether Washington State Department of Transportation’s contracting activities are fair and equitable for all.
WSDOT is holding a series of meetings across the state next month to share information about the disparity study and to gather personal accounts of experience with the agency’s contracting and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The DBE program helps socially and economically disadvantaged businesses compete for government contracts on a level playing field.
WSDOT’s disparity study, which is being conducted by an independent consultant, includes an analysis of the agency’s contracting activities. It will determine if discrimination is occurring in WSDOT-administered contracts related to state transportation projects, including highways, transit and aviation.
Discussions will focus on WSDOT’s contracting and implementation of the federal DBE Program, and whether there is equality in opportunities for obtaining transportation-related contracts, starting and expanding businesses and fair access to financing, insurance and bonding. Feedback regarding WSDOT’s outreach efforts and assistance programs for small, woman- and minority-owned businesses is also encouraged. Comments received will become part of the public record for the disparity study.
All meetings will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows: