Beginning in November 2021, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study to assess whether minority- and woman-owned businesses face any barriers as part of INDOT’s contracting processes. Information from the study will help INDOT evaluate and refine their efforts to encourage the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in their contracts and help inform any refinements INDOT might make to its implementation of the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.
Study analyses. The disparity study will focus on construction, professional services, and goods and non-professional services contracts and procurements INDOT awarded between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2021. The core purpose of the disparity study will be to examine whether there are any disparities between:
- The percentage of contract dollars INDOT spent with minority- and woman-owned businesses during the study period (utilization); and
- The percentage of contract dollars minority- and woman-owned businesses might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of INDOT contracts (availability).
The study will also examine other information related to:
- Legal considerations surrounding the implementation of the Federal DBE Program;
- Marketplace conditions throughout Indiana for minorities; women; and minority- and woman-owned businesses;
- Contracting policies and business assistance programs INDOT currently has in place; and
- Program measures for the agency to consider implementing to further encourage minority- and woman-owned business participation in its work.
Next steps. BBC will engage in the following disparity study tasks in the coming months:
- Community meetings. The project team will conduct four virtual community meetings with relevant stakeholders in January 2022. During the community meetings, BBC will present information about the disparity study, answer any questions, and solicit participants for any verbal or written testimony they would like to share regarding their experiences working in the local marketplace. Please participate and make sure your insights are included as part of the study process! Please see the events page for more information on these meetings.
- Data collection. The project team will continue to work with INDOT to collect data on contracts and procurements the agency awarded during the study period and the vendors that participated in that work.
- Data analysis. BBC will begin the data analysis process by compiling data it receives from INDOT and assessing the subindustries that account for the majority of INDOT contracting and procurement as well as the geographical area that accounts for the vast majority of vendors that compete for that work (i.e., relevant geographic market area, or RGMA).
- Availability surveys. The project team will begin conducting availability surveys with businesses in RGMA that perform work relevant to INDOT contracting and procurement. If we contact your business, please participate in the survey process to help ensure an accurate and comprehensive study!
- In-depth interviews. The study team will begin conducting in-depth interviews with business owners and trade association representatives throughout the local marketplace. The interviews will provide the study team with detailed information about marketplace conditions related to starting a business, trying to grow a business, working with local public agencies, and a variety of other topics. If we contact your business, please participate in the interview process to help ensure an accurate and comprehensive study!
The disparity study is now complete. For the full presentation click here.