Governor announces mandatory DBE goals for WSDOT contracts

Governor Jay Inslee is implementing mandatory subcontracting goals on WSDOT projects.  Specifically, as of January 31, WSDOT will implement a combination of mandatory (18.7%) and aspirational (26%) contract goals for WSDOT construction and design contracts.

WSDOT’s proposal can be found here. WSDOT has said that any comments should be sent by Jan. 20. AGC of Washington has significant concerns with this proposal, and at press time AGC was developing its response to WSDOT. AGC’s Government Affairs and Public Works committees have reviewed WSDOT’s proposal, and have asked Lindsay Taft and John Ahlers of Ahlers and Cressman and Bob Adams of Atkinson, chair of AGC’s Public Works Committee, to take the lead in developing AGC’s response.

The proposed contract goals are

  • Veteran Business, 5%
  • Minority Business Enterprise, 5.8% (with an additional 4.2% as an aspirational goal)
  • Women Business Enterprise, 2.9% (with an additional 3.1% as an aspirational goal)
  • Small Business, 5% 

Some of the other elements of the proposal:

  • Projects of $250K and greater would use combination of mandatory and aspirational goals for a total 26%, as described above.
  • Projects under $250K would be delivered via small works roster or with no established goals.
  • Similar to Federal contracts, there will be a provision to allow a Good Faith Effort (GFE) for those situations where the mandatory goals cannot be reasonably met.   
  • Goal targets and reporting mechanism are the same for all construction delivery methods including design-bid-build, design-build, GCCM and consultant contracts.
  • Participation by contractors who qualify in more than one Business Group will only be counted towards meeting the goal of one Business Group. For example, participation by a contractor who qualifies as both a Veteran Business and a Minority Business Enterprise would accrue towards meeting the goal of either Business Group, but not both.

It appears likely that other state agencies, such as the Department of Enterprise Services, will be announcing their own mandatory contracting goals in the future.

AGC will provide additional information as it becomes available. Comments or questions can be sent to Jerry VanderWood, AGC’s Chief Lobbyist, 360-352-5000.