Can the Federal Transportation DBE Program Be Narrowly Tailored to Remedy Discrimination?

October 1, 2007

George R. La Noue

The federal transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is a relic from another era that no longer serves a civil rights purpose. DBE is the progeny of the 10% minority set-aside provision in the 1977 Public Works Employment Act (PWEA). That Congress was responding to a temporary economic downturn and the 1968 Kerner Commission, which highlighted the special plight of African-Americans. Creating a share for them and other minority communities seemed like an important part of overall economic pump-priming....

Can the Federal Transportation DBE Program be Narrowly Tailored to Remedy Discrimination?