Growing Emphasis on Due Diligence When Hiring DBE/WBE Certified Businesses
The DOT’s Growing Emphasis on Due Diligence in Hiring Certified Businesses
The Changing Regulatory Landscape
Recent developments are reshaping the way we do business. A notable shift is the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) heightened focus on promoting diversity, inclusion, and regulatory compliance in federal and state-funded projects. Contractors must stay current on requirements and show due diligence in hiring Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) businesses, and other certified businesses regardless of labor agreements, or risk forfeiting their contracts. While these regulations are not entirely new, there’s a growing emphasis on strict enforcement.
New York State DOT’s Ambitious Goals
Particularly noteworthy is the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYS DOT) commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion. For 2023-2025, the NYS DOT has increased its DBE participation goals to an ambitious 18.37%. This move underscores the state’s dedication to fostering equal opportunities in transportation projects and serves as an example of the broader trend toward increased diversity goals.
Regulatory Compliance Regardless of Labor Agreements
Federal and state regulations now prioritize diversity and inclusion. Therefore, contractors should be vigilant in complying with the strict diversity requirements of the federal and state agencies regardless of labor agreements.
The Benefits of Due Diligence
Collaborating with diverse subcontractors can lead to innovative solutions, cost-efficiency, and a reputation for social responsibility, all of which are highly valued by clients and regulators alike.