DBEs are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.

African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged.  Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.

The Texas Unified Certification Program is a certification program for the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programs in Texas. ATP will accept all certification from TUCP members.

No. If your business does not have a DBE certification and is not found in the Texas Unified Certification Program (TUCP) database (link) then you will not be counted for credit towards DBE participation.

Yes. DBE firms certified in other states as their home state are required to follow the Interstate certification expectations as outlined in 49 CFR §26.85(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations. Below are links to the TUCP DBE Interstate Certification Checklist and the Texas Unified Certification Program (TUCP) Interstate DBE Affidavit:

You also need to submit a hardcopy of your home-state DBE application.

No. Certification does not guarantee a contract.

When ATP sets a goal for DBE participation, prime contractors will seek out qualified DBE firms to serve as potential subcontractors.

Certification is a designation and marketing tool that makes businesses visible as certified DBE. Another benefit is your business will be listed in the TUCP DBE Directory that isused by primes to find certified DBEs to participate on more contracts.

Search the TUCP directory for certified DBE’s in Texas.

A contract-specific goal is a goal set on an individual ATP contract or bidding opportunity. The ATP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department reviews all ATP procurements to determine DBE participation goals, if applicable. The department only sets goals on contracts with clear subcontracting opportunities to ensure DBEs have an equal chance to participate in ATP procurements.

No. Bidders must make a Good Faith Effort to meet contract goals by sub-contracting with certified DBEs.

As detailed in the federal regulations (49 CFR Part 26.53), any bidder who responds to a solicitation that has an established DBE goal and wishes to be considered for it is required to either meet the contract goal or demonstrate that it has made Good Faith Efforts to meet it. 

DBE Compliance, the procurement department collaborates to determine whether a bidder has made sufficient good faith efforts to meet the contract goal. They also assess the marketplace to see if there are any ready, willing, and available DBEs that could have provided services on this contract.

All firms (DBE and non-DBEs) are expected to meet performance standards as established by the contract. This relates to the quality of work done, the submission of reports, DBE compliance requirements, and other information in a timely manner.