If your small business has utilized for certification as a Deprived Enterprise Enterprise (DBE) by your state’s Division of Transportation (or native company administering the state’s certification program), you understand that it takes lots of effort and time to place collectively the applying supplies and undergo the location go to. Understandably, it may be extremely irritating if the company denies the applying. Nonetheless, you do have the best to enchantment, and this weblog submit will clarify that course of.
With a purpose to receive DBE certification, your organization have to be owned and managed by a member or members of particularly recognized socially and economically deprived teams. These teams embody ladies, Black Individuals, Hispanic Individuals, Native Individuals, Asian-Pacific Individuals and Subcontinent Asian Individuals. Nonetheless, as anybody who has gone by the method can inform you, membership in these teams isn’t sufficient.
The certifying company could deny your software for a lot of causes, regardless of the proprietor’s membership in a kind of teams. In later weblog posts, I’ll focus on a number of the extra widespread causes functions are denied. What it’s best to know is that this determination can, and in lots of circumstances, ought to be appealed.
In Pennsylvania, the DBE course of runs by the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PAUCP). By way of the PAUCP, 5 native companies all through the Commonwealth make the preliminary certification determination. These 5 companies are: Allegheny County Division of Fairness and Inclusion; Philadelphia Worldwide Airport Workplace of Enterprise Variety; PENNDOT Bureau of Equal Alternative; Port Authority of Allegheny County Workplace of Deprived Enterprise Enterprise & Numerous Enterprise and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) DBE Program Workplace.
If an company denies your DBE software, the company should offer you a written rationalization outlining why it denied your software. The denial should reference particular proof within the file to help the explanations for the denial. The company should additionally make accessible to you (upon request) all the knowledge it utilized in arriving at its determination.
If the company denies your software, you may have a number of choices. The primary is to do nothing. If you don’t enchantment, your small business can apply once more after a ready interval (often 12 months). Typically this can be obligatory if there have been deficiencies or issues in your software supplies that to be corrected. If you happen to enchantment, you can’t add to or change your software supplies. A educated lawyer might help you establish whether or not it’s best to wait and reapply or transfer ahead with an enchantment. The lawyer can clarify to you the way the proof within the file could or could not help your place, and whether or not the company could have misapplied the laws in its determination. If you happen to select to attend and reapply, it may very well be helpful to have the lawyer evaluate your software earlier than submission with a purpose to establish potential issues.
In Pennsylvania, you may have the best to enchantment to the state certification program, or on to the US Division of Transportation (USDOT). If you happen to enchantment on the state stage, PAUCP will schedule a listening to to listen to your enchantment. At this listening to, you should have a quick alternative to reply to the explanations set forth within the company’s denial letter. You will have an lawyer current and will discover it useful. You’ll be able to present testimony and level to proof within the file. If you happen to obtain a denial after the state stage enchantment, it’s possible you’ll enchantment that call to the USDOT.
Whereas there isn’t a requirement that you have to have an lawyer when making that enchantment, it could actually be useful. The enchantment is in writing and there’s no listening to. Your enchantment should clearly state your argument and check with proof within the file supporting certification. You could additionally clarify why the denial was improper below the laws. An lawyer might help you clearly and totally current your case. The USDOT can uphold the denial or discover that the denial was not supported by substantial proof or was inconsistent with the laws. In case your enchantment to USDOT is profitable, the USDOT will inform the state that they have to certify you. The USDOT is ultimate, and you can’t ask for a reconsideration. There are avenues to enchantment to federal court docket, however that could be a time-consuming and dear course of.
Denied DBE Certification? Why it Might Be Higher to Reapply Than Attraction
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