Montana Web app will track disadvantaged business' contracts

Montana Web app will track disadvantaged business' contracts

The Montana Transportation Department is now gathering contract payment information from disadvantaged business enterprises through a program on the state's portal.

Disadvantaged companies, known as DBEs, must report payments made to them by prime contractors for work on federally sponsored highway and road projects, officials in the department's Civil Rights Bureau said. DBE Tracker lets the businesses do so online at www.discoveringmontana.com.

U.S. Transportation Department guidelines define DBEs as businesses owned by minorities, women or other socially or economically disadvantaged groups. There are about 100 such companies in Montana, the bureau said.

To use the online program, a company must set up an account, creating a username and password. DBEs can view previous payment histories and enter new payment data. Montana will use the information to track contract payments and ensure that programs and services offered by the Transportation Department are not discriminatory, bureau officials said.

Montana's contract portal operator, National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., maintains the DBE Tracker service for the state.

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