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RESEARCH

23 CFR 200, 420; 49 CFR 21

The Research Program manages a wide variety of transportation related research activities. Most of the research is performed through various types of servicecontracts with universities and private research organizations. Partnerships are established with local universities to create specialized transportation-related research centers which are utilized to develop, conduct and administer research activities. Research centers provide the opportunity for students and researchers from various universities and colleges to perform transportation-related research and to gain expertise in the field of transportation.

If it is determined that a university will be used and more than one university has the capability, a request for proposal will be sent to the universities that are identified as minority universities. Minority universities interested in performing research for a transportation agency are encouraged to learn the procurement process and submit proposals when there are studies proposed which they have the capability to accomplish.

Potential Title VI Issues
1. Whether there is diversification in the selection of consultant/universities.
2. Proposal/problem statement solicitation.
3. When awarding a contract or grant, whether the contractor or applicant have any unresolved Title VI violations.


Recommended Good Practices and Mitigation Measures
1. Contract managers review contracts to ensure nondiscrimination clauses are incorporated.
2. Contract managers contact DCIU and the Legal Division to verify that the vendor has no active Title VI violations.
3. Contract managers document above actions.
4. Periodically, conduct an analysis of contract awards to ensure business opportunity is afforded to minority institutions.
5. Periodically, review outreach activities to ensure small, disadvantaged, minority, women and disabled veteran businesses are invited to participate.

Possible Compliance Review Questions
Administration
General
1. What office or section within the Division of New Technology and Research has the lead responsibility for Title VI matters?
2. What process is followed when a new directive is issued?
3. Is the division’s Program Area Administrator (PAA) involved in policy development?
4. When awarding a contract, grant, loan or permit, what mechanism is used to ensure that the contractor or applicant does not have any unresolved Title VI violations?
5. What is the role of the PAA and/or key personnel in the research phase and who is responsible for analysis of the following?
· Public Involvement and citizen advisory committees
· Scheduling time and location of public meetings and hearings
· Project administration and monitoring contract plans and specifications
· Monitoring and enforcement of mitigation measures included in environmental and planning documents and agreements
· Final acceptance of the final project
· Subcontractor and supplier with the provision in form FHWA-1273
· Withholding of payment
· Termination of contract when necessary
6. Who is responsible for identifying Title VI issues in research documents?

Staff Composition
1. Provide a staffing composition listing by position, race and gender for senior level and above classifications. Include an organizational chart.
2. Policy and Advisory Committees - Provide a listing of committees and their respective members by position, race and gender.
3. Provide a listing of persons who are designated to provide alternative language assistance and identify what languages they translate.

Complaint Procedure
1. Provide a copy of the procedure the division uses to handle a Title VI complaint.
How are your customers made aware of this process?
2. How many Title VI related complaints have you received in the past two years?
What was the outcome of those complaints?
3. How are Title VI complaint procedures disseminated to program personnel?

Training
1. Have staff received formal or informal training on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, related statutes or policy including Executive Orders on Environmental Justice and Limited English Proficiency? Please describe.
2. Are staff scheduled for Title VI and related statutes training this year? If yes, please provide the schedule and who will attend.

Data Collection & Monitoring
1. Does the division self monitor its activities to ensure nondiscrimination? If yes, please describe the process(es). If not, why not?
2. What process does the division use to self monitor data collection and contract/grant language requirements?
3. What data (race, color, national origin, language considerations, sex, disability and age) do you maintain that reflects the extent to which members of minority and low-income populations, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers participate in research activities or services?
4. What records and/or reports are maintained that specifically reflect compliance with Title VI?
5. Who is responsible for developing, maintaining and reporting this data?
6. How is this data used?

Division of New Technology and Research
Strategies and Goals
1. Provide a copy of the division’s Strategic Plan and Performance Measure Objectives for the current fiscal year.
2. What strategies and efforts has the division developed for ensuring, demonstrating and substantiating compliance with Title VI?
3. Does the division use demographic data that includes identification of the locations of socioeconomic groups, including low-income and minority populations as covered by the Executive Order on Environmental Justice and Title VI provisions? What process is used to identify and define the eligible population?
1. Does the division’s process seek to identify the needs of low-income and minority populations? Describe how.
2. What methods are used to identify imbalances?
3. How does the division follow-up to ensure mitigation measures identified for projects significantly impacting minorities are carried through?

Service Equity
1. Describe, in summary, the programs administered by your division.
2. Does the division have an analytical process in place for assessing the benefits and burdens of transportation system projects on different minority and socioeconomic groups? Please describe.
3. Does the division have a data collection process in place that will support the analysis of benefits and burdens? Describe this process and provide an example.
4. How is the analysis of benefits and burdens used?

Public Involvement
1. Provide a copy of your public involvement process policy. What is the public comment period before the process or revision is adopted?
2. Is information about research issues and processes provided timely to citizens, public agencies, transportation agency employees, private sector transportation providers and others affected by transportation plans, programs and projects?
Describe how.
3. Does the public have access to technical research documents? Describe how.
4. Is advance public notice given for public review and comment on key decisions, including approval and amendments? Describe how.
5. Are the needs of low-income and minority households taken into account? Describe how.
6. Does the public outreach effort include media such as print, television, radio, etc. and is it targeted to low-income or minority populations?
7. What is the division’s process for advertising a Public Notice that your program is an equal opportunity program and/or that Federal law prohibits discrimination?
8. Are Tribal Governments and related public agencies on public or tribal land involved in the research process? Describe how Tribal Governments are involved in the research process and what considerations are given to Indian reservation roads.
9. Give an example of what changes have occurred as a result of input by public involvement, specifically low-income and minority populations?
10. Is the public involvement process reviewed periodically to determine the effectiveness of full and open access to all? Describe how.
11. Describe the types of assurances utilized to ensure that no one is excluded from participation in or denied benefit of or otherwise subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, disability or age from your program’s activities and services.
12. Describe actions taken to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
13. What is the role of the PAA in assisting program area personnel with public involvement activities?
14. Has the PAA or key program personnel attended public meetings and/or hearings held for projects with potential Title VI impacts? If yes, give an example and list the meeting/hearing, whom attended and the outcome(s).
15. What role did the PAA and/or key program personnel play to facilitate participation of historically under represented groups and accessibility to the location of the meetings or hearings?
16. Does the PAA review procedures that address public involvement, particularly minority citizen participation? Please explain and provide examples.
17. Please describe the procedures followed when working with external customers who are limited English proficient.

Hearings
1. What statistics are kept on public hearing participation by race and gender? Visual identification?
2. Are minority group concerns addressed in a timely manner? Describe how.
3. Are public meeting announcements made available in languages other than English, according to the affected minority population? Describe how and provide an example.
4. Are accessible locations (geographically and structurally), appropriate times and translation services planned for and provided during public hearings?

Contracts
1. Who in the division monitors the contractor’s adherence with the Title VI requirements?
2. What affirmative measures are taken to ensure nondiscrimination? Please describe these processes.
3. How are contracting and subcontracting opportunities advertised? Please describe.
4. How does the division promote the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) contracts?
5. What efforts are made to provide Historical Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities the opportunity to participate in your research projects?
6. Is there a process in place to ensure that the contractor who receives a contract has no prior unresolved violations?
7. Are mechanisms in place to review selection procedures for principal researchers and research staff to determine minority participation for private consultant contracts not awarded through the colleges or universities? Please describe these mechanisms.
8. Are DBE goals set and do you meet these goals?
9. Provide the number, dollar values and types of contracts and funding sources used during the last two fiscal years. Identify if there were any DBEs on the contracts.

Goals For Upcoming Federal Fiscal Year 2002
Please provide a status report on the following goals:
· How many research projects are currently underway?
· Summarize actions taken to encourage universities to use minority, female, disabled and low-income students to participate on highway research projects.
· Provide a summary of Title VI self monitoring activities conducted, including findings, recommendations, action items and status thereof.
· What Title VI training was provided by your program?
· What Title VI training was attended by your program personnel?
· List any significant problem areas and corrective actions taken.
· List major accomplishments made regarding Title VI since the last plan update.
· Include instances where Title VI issues were identified and discrimination was prevented.
· List goals/actions planned for the ensuing year.

Self Monitoring
1. What office or section within the research function has the lead responsibility for Title VI matters?
2. What is the role of the PAA/District Title VI Liaisons in the research area?
3. What efforts have been made to ensure that minority universities with significant minority student representation participate in research projects?


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