Information on the Federal Highway Administration's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

RCED-85-31: Published: Mar 15, 1985. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided certain information on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

GAO noted that the latest state directories, available as of September 1984, showed that 7,106 DBE firms were certified in the United States. GAO reviewed the program records of six states and found that they indicated that capabilities existed among DBE to perform 10 percent of the needed highway work. DBE and state officials cited the difficulty in obtaining bonds, slow payment to subcontractors by prime contractors, withholding of a portion of payment by prime contractors, and obtaining operating loans as financial problems encountered by DBE. GAO concluded that these problems had little adverse affect on overall DBE ability to obtain highway construction work. GAO also noted that there were no reported problems with licensing or prequalification.

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