The state of Colorado has eliminated the need for disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) to acquire certifications from various agencies by creating the Colorado Unified Certification Program (UCP). The Colorado UCP certifies DBEs and allows them to compete fairly for transportation-related projects with federal funding involved. The process for becoming certified as a DBE through the Colorado UCP involves signing up and submitting an application through an online portal, after which the application is analyzed by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and an on-site interview is scheduled. The stated goal is to provide a determination on DBE certification within 90 days of the application being filed.
Does this certification expire? DBE firms are required to update their certification each year. An update must be completed in CDOT’s Business Management System by the anniversary date of the firm’s certification.
Are there multiple agencies that offer this certification in the state? The Colorado UCP eliminates the need for DBE applicants to obtain multiple DBE certifications in the state. The two certifying agencies for the Colorado UCP are the Colorado Department of Transportation and the City and County of Denver.
Does this program require bidders attempt to make a good-faith effort to meet participation goals? In order to be awarded a contract, a prime must show it has committed to DBE participation sufficient to meet the contract goal (as specified on the project) or has otherwise made good faith efforts to do so. Procedures and forms are set in place to document the good-faith effort.