‘Re-assess NMI’s exempt status in DBE’

Posted on Mar 23 2022

DeLeon Guerrero

Sen. Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero pre-filed Friday a joint resolution requesting Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to re-assess the exempt status of the CNMI in participating in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises pertaining to the U.S. Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs. 

DeLeon Guerrero stated in the Senate Joint Resolution 22-10  that DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is designed to prevent ongoing discrimination and the continuing impacts of past discrimination in federally-assisted highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance transportation contracting markets nationwide.

She said the main remedial goal and objective of the DBE is to level the playing field by providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair chance  to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.

The senator said the CNMI was exempted in 1981 from the Code of Federal Regulations that provides for exemption and waivers of recipients of DBE federally funded contracts.

DeLeon Guerrero said CNMI’s exemption was reaffirmed in 1990 from participating in the DBE program.

She said that in November 2020, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) wrote to Torres to reexamine whether the CNMI exemption is still warranted.

DeLeon Guerrero said the CNMI’s construction industry has grown over the past three decades that the exempt status must be reexamined so that small, disadvantaged businesses can compete for federally-assisted DOT contracts. (Ferdie de la Torre )

Ross Garcia Garcia
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