March 29, 2007
WSDOT tracks DBE participation over the Web
By JOHN L. HUFF
The state Department of Transportation is breaking new ground on how it collects, tracks and documents participation by disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) on its construction projects. The improvement is in response to state and federal requirements for setting annual DBE goals and monitoring prompt payments to subcontractors and consultants.
Using a new Contract Management and Tracking (CMATS) software package, WSDOT is setting a statewide standard for data collection and retention. This new package has huge benefits for both WSDOT and its contractors and consultants, allowing them to submit contract data through the Web using a streamlined, accurate and user-friendly process.
The system provides user-friendly avenues of communication between state agencies and the firms with which they do business. WSDOT has been in the process of rolling out the CMATS program, training its own staff and providing monthly training sessions to contractors through the AGC of Washington.
Understanding and using CMATS helps contractors reduce the amount of administrative time spent on paperwork associated with state and federal reporting requirements. The data from the contractors is available in real time and project teams establish a better sense of their compliance with state and federal DBE requirements.
One feature of the program allows WSDOT to track DBE information on a project in real time, such as the number of firms working on the project, descriptions of work categories, dollar values of DBE participation and DBE participation as a percentage of the whole contract.
WSDOT chose this particular system after evaluating several software applications. Business Innovations Plus, a Nevada-based software developer, was chosen for pilot testing and final implementation. All contractors working on WSDOT projects will be required to use this new system by 2008.
John L. Huff is a DBE contract compliance officer for WSDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity in Olympia.
Copyright ©2009 Seattle Daily Journal and DJC.COM.
Comments? Questions? Contact us.