After a review of good faith efforts (GFE) determinations last year, a June 2014 report concluded that significant inadequacies were found in local public agencies’ evaluation of bidders’ GFE to meet DBE contract goals. Here were some of the lessons learned from the review that your agency can avoid the next time you need to evaluate a bidder’s GFE:
- Local Public Agency permitted the bidder to claim 60% DBE credit for bulk material supply, but gave 100% credit for the transportation of the material, instead of 60% credit.
- A listing as a bidder on a project is not an ad. It is the action of the publication, not the bidder.
- In one instance, work made available to DBEs (as documented by the bidder) was insufficient to meet the goal.
- Trucking and traffic control quotes used to verify the DBE commitment are rate sheets without additional documentation supporting how those rates substantiate the commitment amount.
- Several DBEs were reported on the Bidder’s List. However, they were not used, nor reported as rejected DBEs.
- Bidder listed a lot of solicited firms. However, almost all of them are not DBEs.
- The bidder utilized a separate firm to conduct some of its GFE work which resulted in very few DBE firms being solicited and no ads soliciting DBE participation.
- No DBE commitment from the 2nd and 3rd low bidders does not automatically indicate that the low bidder demonstrated an adequate GFE.
For other GFE observations and findings from the review, here’s FHWA’s DBE GFE Program Report (June 2014).