For years now, ATB has been trying to overcome some difficulty working with the City of Tucson’s SBE Program. ATB is not looking to eliminate the SBE program, nor is ATB discounting the program. In fact, many of contractor members used the program to help build their business.
Much of what we hear is that ATB is trying to eliminate the SBE program or lower the SBE goals (the percent); this is also false. What we are trying to do is look at this program more realistically then it ever has. For one, we want to make sure the City is using an accurate and complete list of SBE companies. We are concerned that many SBE’s listed are not capable of completing the level of work assigned to meet the SBE goal. This puts unnecessary risk onto the general contractors and forces the SBE firms to try to perform work beyond their capabilities. This is risky financially, but also can delay the project, which ultimately we wish not to see.
Lastly, ATB, along with other associations, have coordinated efforts to review new strategies for the program and work towards realistic approaches. Not just the SBE program, but like many other ordinances and policies, we must review them from time to time to make sure those policies can still work in a new economic climate and such. With looking at a new SBE goal formula, we hope to see some changes that eliminate subjectivity and effective opportunities for SBE firms. A panel has been creased to review the next 4-5 City of Tucson/RTA projects utilizing the new formula and evaluate the effectiveness.
U.S. D.O.T. DBE
General Contractors Pre Qualifications
RTA SBE Goal Setting Process
Pima County Subcontractors Bid Process