Electrical distributors operate in an environment where public procurement projects offer business opportunities. Those projects often include requirements for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) in the form of set-asides or quotas. Various structures for participation by DBEs and non-DBE suppliers in those public procurement projects have been utilized, and some of those structures are now facing increased scrutiny from all levels of government. That increased scrutiny has resulted in significant civil fines, criminal prosecution and prison sentences.
This brief report reviews the proper use of DBEs and provides suggestions to establish a DBE compliance program.