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Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program
The Departments of General Services and Veterans Affairs Have Failed to Maximize Participation and to Accurately Measure Program Success

Report Number: 2018-114

Figure 1
The Top 30 DVBE Firms Received 89 Percent of the Contract Amounts Awarded to DVBE Prime Contractors During Fiscal Year 2017–18

Figure 1 is a pie chart that shows that in fiscal year 2017-18, of the $146 million awarded to DVBE prime contractors, only $15.8 million were awarded to 103 DVBE firms while $130 million were awarded to the top 30 DVBE firms. Further, of the $130.2 million awarded to the top 30 DVBE firms, the highest earning DVBE firm was awarded $24.3 million and the second highest earning DVBE firm was awarded $15.7 million, with the remaining 28 DVBE firms receiving a combined total of $90.2 million.

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Figure 2
Interviews With 24 DVBE Firms Identified as Subcontractors Indicate That Awarding Departments Are Not Doing Enough to Protect the Interests of DVBE Firms and to Reduce Program Abuse

Figure 2 is an infographic that details responses through interviews with 24 DVBE subcontractors. The first part of the chart focuses on the respondents’ general experience with working on state contracts. Specifically, 12 respondents shared that they were aware of being listed on at least one winning bid, but did not work on the contract. Two other respondents stated that they worked substantially less on awarded contracts than indicated. In addition, 12 respondents stated that they encountered program abuse; but only five of those 12 made a complaint. Four of those five respondents were not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, while one was awaiting the outcome of the complaint investigation. The second part of the graphic focuses on the respondents’ experience working as a subcontractor on specific contracts we selected. Seven of the 24 respondents stated that they did not perform work on the contracts we selected. Four of those seven respondents were not aware that they had been listed on the contract until we contacted them. Finally, only 8 of the 24 respondents shared that they were notified by departments of their inclusion on the winning bid for the contract we selected.

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Figure 3
None of the Six Departments Accurately Reported All DVBE Participation Data

Figure 3 is a graphic that depicts the results of our review of the documents departments use to support the data they report on their DVBE activity reports. The graphic shows that contract files support departments’ data systems, which in turn support the data they report on DVBE activity reports. The graphic shows that the selected contract files for only CalVet supported the information in its data system. The selected contract files for Caltrans, Corrections, DMV, General Services, and Public Health only partially supported the information in their data systems. Further, only DMV’s data system supported its DVBE activity report. Caltrans, CalVet, Corrections, General Services, and Public Health’s data systems only partially supported their DVBE activity reports. Based on this information, we determined that none of the six departments could fully support their DVBE contracting activities.

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