In Arkansas, disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) are certified by the Arkansas Unified Certification Program, which acts in association with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, to meet goals for DBE participation on federally-funded projects. The program also makes provision for documentation of payments made to DBEs on projects that do not have specified DBE participation goals.
Does this local/state program offer reciprocal certifications with other local/state programs? As a result of federal rulemaking effective February 28, 2011, all states are required to accept DBE certification obtained in other states, unless the state finds good cause not to accept it.
Does this certification expire? Every year a business certified as a DBE must submit a "no-change" affadavit verifying that the business is still eligible to be certified as a DBE. Every three years, an on-site review process will be conducted of businesses certified as DBEs.
Are there multiple agencies that offer this certification in the state? The Arkansas Unified DBE Certification Program was created to be a "one-stop" certifier that allows firms wishing to be certified as a DBE for the purpose of doing business with Arkansas state entities to make a single application. However, once the application is made, a given certification application will be reviewed by either the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department or the Little Rock National Airport, depending on what scope of work the businesses activities tend to fall under.