Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Our Commitment to Equality in Business
In accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation, DBE regulations, 49 CFR Part 26, it is COTA’s policy to utilize ready, willing, and able disadvantaged and small businesses and to use the best efforts possible to level the playing field in the market place by ensuring these firms have the opportunity to participate in the procurement process. COTA has established race conscious and race neutral initiatives in the DBE annual and contract specific goals to provide opportunities in all procurement activities.
DBE* firms must be certified by the Ohio Department of Transportation Unified Certification Program (UCP), the City of Columbus Equal Business Opportunity Commission Office, or the Ohio Department of Administrative Services at the time of bid submission. COTA reserves the right to accept or reject a firm’s certification from other agencies on a case-by-case basis. In making this determination COTA will evaluate whether the certification was conducted under the standards of the certifying agency.
*COTA uses the term DBE to encompass all companies that are EDGE, MBE, FBE, and DBE certified by the recognized agencies listed above. The following are the links to COTA’s recognized certifying agencies:
- City of Columbus Diversity and Inclusion Supplier Diversity Office
- Ohio Department of Administrative Services
- Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Unified Certification Program (UCP)
Each of these agencies perform their own certifications, re-certifications, compliance on-site visits, and maintain a centralized database on their perspective websites of all certified companies which can be publicly accessed with limited basic information.
ODOT DBE Uniform Certification Process (UCP)
DBE satisfies Section 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations for transportation authorities (49 CFR). In accordance with 49 CFR Section 26, COTA transitioned to the Unified Certification Program (UCP) for all federally funded projects, which synchronizes all DBE certifications with the Department of Transportation (DOT) for each state per the federal mandate.
For more information about your individual DBE certification, visit ODOT online at the above link for details and forms. Or, contact ODOT directly at:
Ohio Department of Transportation
Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
1980 West Broad Street, First Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43223