49 CFR § 26.53 - What are the good faith efforts procedures recipients follow in situations where there are contract goals?

§ 26.53 What are the good faith efforts procedures recipients follow in situations where there are contract goals?

(a) When you have established a DBE contract goal, you must award the contract only to a bidder/offeror who makes good faith efforts to meet it. You must determine that a bidder/offeror has made good faith efforts if the bidder/offeror does either of the following things:

(1) Documents that it has obtained enough DBE participation to meet the goal; or

(2) Documents that it made adequate good faith efforts to meet the goal, even though it did not succeed in obtaining enough DBE participation to do so. If the bidder/offeror does document adequate good faith efforts, you must not deny award of the contract on the basis that the bidder/offeror failed to meet the goal. See Appendix A of this part for guidance in determining the adequacy of a bidder/offeror's good faith efforts.

(b) In your solicitations for DOT-assisted contracts for which a contract goal has been established, you must require the following:

(1) Award of the contract will be conditioned on meeting the requirements of this section;

(2) All bidders or offerors will be required to submit the following information to the recipient, at the time provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section:

(i) The names and addresses of DBE firms that will participate in the contract;

(ii) A description of the work that each DBE will perform. To count toward meeting a goal, each DBE firm must be certified in a NAICS code applicable to the kind of work the firm would perform on the contract;

(iii) The dollar amount of the participation of each DBE firm participating;

(iv) Written documentation of the bidder/offeror's commitment to use a DBE subcontractor whose participation it submits to meet a contract goal; and

(v) Written confirmation from each listed DBE firm that it is participating in the contract in the kind and amount of work provided in the prime contractor's commitment.

(vi) If the contract goal is not met, evidence of good faith efforts (see Appendix A of this part). The documentation of good faith efforts must include copies of each DBE and non-DBE subcontractor quote submitted to the bidder when a non-DBE subcontractor was selected over a DBE for work on the contract; and


(i) At your discretion, the bidder/offeror must present the information required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section -

(A) Under sealed bid procedures, as a matter of responsiveness, or with initial proposals, under contract negotiation procedures; or

(B) No later than 7 days after bid opening as a matter of responsibility. The 7 days shall be reduced to 5 days beginning January 1, 2017.

(ii) Provided that, in a negotiated procurement, including a design-build procurement, the bidder/offeror may make a contractually binding commitment to meet the goal at the time of bid submission or the presentation of initial proposals but provide the information required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section before the final selection for the contract is made by the recipient.

(c) You must make sure all information is complete and accurate and adequately documents the bidder/offeror's good faith efforts before committing yourself to the performance of the contract by the bidder/offeror.

(d) If you determine that the apparent successful bidder/offeror has failed to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, you must, before awarding the contract, provide the bidder/offeror an opportunity for administrative reconsideration.

(1) As part of this reconsideration, the bidder/offeror must have the opportunity to provide written documentation or argument concerning the issue of whether it met the goal or made adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(2) Your decision on reconsideration must be made by an official who did not take part in the original determination that the bidder/offeror failed to meet the goal or make adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(3) The bidder/offeror must have the opportunity to meet in person with your reconsideration official to discuss the issue of whether it met the goal or made adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(4) You must send the bidder/offeror a written decision on reconsideration, explaining the basis for finding that the bidder did or did not meet the goal or make adequate good faith efforts to do so.

(5) The result of the reconsideration process is not administratively appealable to the Department of Transportation.

(e) In a “design-build” or “turnkey” contracting situation, in which the recipient lets a master contract to a contractor, who in turn lets subsequent subcontracts for the work of the project, a recipient may establish a goal for the project. The master contractor then establishes contract goals, as appropriate, for the subcontracts it lets. Recipients must maintain oversight of the master contractor's activities to ensure that they are conducted consistent with the requirements of this part.



(i) You must require that a prime contractor not terminate a DBE subcontractor listed in response to paragraph (b)(2) of this section (or an approved substitute DBE firm) without your prior written consent. This includes, but is not limited to, instances in which a prime contractor seeks to perform work originally designated for a DBE subcontractor with its own forces or those of an affiliate, a non-DBE firm, or with another DBE firm.

(ii) You must include in each prime contract a provision stating:

(A) That the contractor shall utilize the specific DBEs listed to perform the work and supply the materials for which each is listed unless the contractor obtains your written consent as provided in this paragraph (f); and

(B) That, unless your consent is provided under this paragraph (f), the contractor shall not be entitled to any payment for work or material unless it is performed or supplied by the listed DBE.

(2) You may provide such written consent only if you agree, for reasons stated in your concurrence document, that the prime contractor has good cause to terminate the DBE firm.

(3) For purposes of this paragraph, good cause includes the following circumstances:

(i) The listed DBE subcontractor fails or refuses to execute a written contract;

(ii) The listed DBE subcontractor fails or refuses to perform the work of its subcontract in a way consistent with normal industry standards. Provided, however, that good cause does not exist if the failure or refusal of the DBE subcontractor to perform its work on the subcontract results from the bad faith or discriminatory action of the prime contracor;

(iii) The listed DBE subcontractor fails or refuses to meet the prime contractor's reasonable, nondiscriminatory bond requirements.

(iv) The listed DBE subcontractor becomes bankrupt, insolvent, or exhibits credit unworthiness;

(v) The listed DBE subcontractor is ineligible to work on public works projects because of suspension and debarment proceedings pursuant 2 CFR Parts 180, 215 and 1,200 or applicable state law;

(vii) You have determined that the listed DBE subcontractor is not a responsible contractor;

(vi) The listed DBE subcontractor voluntarily withdraws from the project and provides to you written notice of its withdrawal;

(vii) The listed DBE is ineligible to receive DBE credit for the type of work required;

(viii) A DBE owner dies or becomes disabled with the result that the listed DBE contractor is unable to complete its work on the contract;

(ix) Other documented good cause that you determine compels the termination of the DBE subcontractor. Provided, that good cause does not exist if the prime contractor seeks to terminate a DBE it relied upon to obtain the contract so that the prime contractor can self-perform the work for which the DBE contractor was engaged or so that the prime contractor can substitute another DBE or non-DBE contractor after contract award.

(4) Before transmitting to you its request to terminate and/or substitute a DBE subcontractor, the prime contractor must give notice in writing to the DBE subcontractor, with a copy to you, of its intent to request to terminate and/or substitute, and the reason for the request.

(5) The prime contractor must give the DBE five days to respond to the prime contractor's notice and advise you and the contractor of the reasons, if any, why it objects to the proposed termination of its subcontract and why you should not approve the prime contractor's action. If required in a particular case as a matter of public necessity (e.g., safety), you may provide a response period shorter than five days.

(6) In addition to post-award terminations, the provisions of this section apply to preaward deletions of or substitutions for DBE firms put forward by offerors in negotiated procurements.

(g) When a DBE subcontractor is terminated as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, or fails to complete its work on the contract for any reason, you must require the prime contractor to make good faith efforts to find another DBE subcontractor to substitute for the original DBE. These good faith efforts shall be directed at finding another DBE to perform at least the same amount of work under the contract as the DBE that was terminated, to the extent needed to meet the contract goal you established for the procurement. The good faith efforts shall be documented by the contractor. If the recipient requests documentation under this provision, the contractor shall submit the documentation within 7 days, which may be extended for an additional 7 days if necessary at the request of the contractor, and the recipient shall provide a written determination to the contractor stating whether or not good faith efforts have been demonstrated.

(h) You must include in each prime contract the contract clause required by § 26.13(b) stating that failure by the contractor to carry out the requirements of this part is a material breach of the contract and may result in the termination of the contract or such other remedies set forth in that section you deem appropriate if the prime contractor fails to comply with the requirements of this section.

(i) You must apply the requirements of this section to DBE bidders/offerors for prime contracts. In determining whether a DBE bidder/offeror for a prime contract has met a contract goal, you count the work the DBE has committed to performing with its own forces as well as the work that it has committed to be performed by DBE subcontractors and DBE suppliers.

(j) You must require the contractor awarded the contract to make available upon request a copy of all DBE subcontracts. The subcontractor shall ensure that all subcontracts or an agreement with DBEs to supply labor or materials require that the subcontract and all lower tier subcontractors be performed in accordance with this part's provisions.

[64 FR 5126, Feb. 2, 1999, as amended at 76 FR 5098, Jan. 28, 2011; 79 FR 59595, Oct. 2, 2014]