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MBDA Disparity Studies Publications

Other Publications


December 2020

Published by Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Civil Rights Office

The Alaska DOT&PF conducted a disparity study in 2021 through a contractor who conducted surveys and interviews with a random sample of 565 business owners and representatives of firms having done business with, or attempted to do business with, the DOT&PF. The study indicated that 59.55% of M/W/DBE respondents reported they were “seldom or never” solicited for work when contracts did not have a set DBE utilization goal. Additionally, 6.5% of M/W/DBE respondents said that there was unequal or unfair treatment within the private sector. Another 4.49% of respondents said that they had either experienced or been witness to situations where M/W/DBE firms were only consulted to satisfy DOT&PF contract requirements. The same percentage (4.49%) of respondents also stated that prime contractors had double standards for performance of M/W/DBEs. As study results demonstrated, there are both quantitative and anecdotal reasons to address the issue of disparate or discriminatory conditions in the marketplace. For this reason the 2021 Disparity Study recommended that DOT&PF should continue to consider the use of aspirational subcontractor project goals for selected groups in regions where there is very low DBE subcontractor utilization.

External Research  Disparity StudiesAlaska


August 2021

Published by California Department of Transportation, Prepared by BBC Research & Consulting

The study team conducted an analysis of regulations, case law, and other information to guide the methodology for the disparity study, which included a review of legal requirements related to minority and woman‐owned business programs (M/WBE), and specifically, the Federal DBE Program. This included the quantitative analyses of outcomes for minorities, women, and M/WBEs throughout California, the collection of anecdotal evidence about potential barriers individuals and businesses face, the estimation of the percentage of Caltrans transportation‐related contract and procurement dollars M/WBEs were available to perform, analysis of the dollars Caltrans and subrecipient local agencies awarded to M/WBEs on transportation‐related construction and professional services contracts and procurements, and the examination of whether there were any disparities between the participation and availability of M/WBEs on transportation‐related construction and professional services contracts. All minority groups showed substantial disparities in all Caltrans and sub-recipient local agency contracts considered together: Asian Pacific American‐owned businesses (disparity index of 60), Black American‐owned businesses (disparity index of 50), Hispanic American‐ owned businesses (disparity index of 55), Native American‐owned businesses (disparity Index of 73), and Subcontinent Asian American‐owned businesses (disparity index of 70).

External Research  Disparity StudiesCalifornia
September 2019

Published by Mason Tillman Associates, Ltd.

The objective of the City of Oakland’s disparity study was to determine if available Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) were underutilized on the City of Oakland’s prime contracts during the July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2016 study period. Based on the data, African American contractors won 17 or 3.21% of the construction contracts during the study period. The top earners, “Non-minority Males,” won 366 or 69.06% of the contracts. African American firms received 44 or 2.92% of the professional services prime contracts, while “non-minority males' ' received 1,069 or 70.84% of the professional services contracts. Minority-owned businesses account for 19.77% of construction, professional services, services, and goods and commodities prime contractors. The data showed that non-minority males are afforded a preference in the award of City contracts. There is evidence of racial and gender discrimination, given the size of the contracts awarded by the City and the evidence of the size of contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. Minority-owned businesses account for 20.65% of construction and professional services subcontractors. Woman-owned businesses account for 13.51%, and non-minority male-owned businesses account for 72.29%. The report identified areas for assistance moving forward.

External Research  Disparity StudiesCalifornia
August 2012

Published by BBC Research & Consulting

California’s Department of Transportation conducted a disparity study that provided information to help implement the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for its FHWA‐funded contracts. Based on the results, about one‐third of firms identified as available prime contractors and subcontractors on Caltrans construction. The report stated that there was quantitative evidence of disparities for minority and women‐owned firms as a whole, and for specific groups, concerning issues (i.e., entry and advancement, business ownership, access to capital, bonding and insurance, success of business). Qualitative information indicated some evidence of discrimination affecting the local marketplace, although some minority and female business owners interviewed in this and other recent disparity studies did not think they had been affected by any race or gender discrimination. Minority and women‐owned businesses considered together showed substantial disparities on both FHWA‐funded contracts (disparity index of 74) and state‐funded contracts (disparity index of 46). Disparity analysis results by individual racial/ethnic and gender groups indicated that most individual groups showed substantial disparities on FHWA‐funded contracts and procurements. The exceptions were non‐Hispanic white women‐owned businesses (disparity index of 121) and Native American‐owned businesses (disparity index of 83). Minority and women‐owned businesses also faced substantial difficulties accessing business credit.

External Research  Disparity StudiesCalifornia