- Administrative Removal
- The Executive Director will apply an administrative removal to any certified company deemed non-responsive during the Annual Update process. Or, any company that fails to respond to its requests for information in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26.
- In the process of communicating with its certified companies, Certification Specialist will make every effort to contact or locate those companies. The Specialist assigned to the company will attempt to contact the company by mail, phone, and fax, if necessary. In communications by mail, Certification Specialist will give the company two opportunities to respond, with at least one letter sent by certified mail.
- In administratively removing a company, Director of Civil Rights will remove a company’s eligibility for a period of not more than 11 months based on the company’s failure to respond.
- The administrative removal does not engender a right of appeal or provide any opportunity for a local hearing. Rather, the company’s non- responsiveness creates the presumption that the company no longer wishes to remain certified.
- Director of Civil Rights will treat any affirmative requests by the company to withdraw its certification in a similar manner and administratively remove the company. Director of Civil Rights will accept the written withdrawal request of a company as final notice, and immediately remove the company from the directory.
- For any firm administratively removed, the SDO shall make an entry in the Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights’ Ineligibility Determination Online Database, listing the applicant firm’s name, name(s) of owner(s), type and date of action, and the reason for the action.
- Ineligibility Complaints
- Any person may file a written complaint with the MassUCP Adjudicatory Board alleging that a currently-certified firm is ineligible and specifying the alleged reasons why the firm is ineligible.
- The complaint should include any information or arguments supporting the complainant's assertion that the firm is ineligible and should not continue to be certified. Confidentiality of complainants' identities shall be protected as provided in Sec. 49 CFR Part 26.109(b).
- If an allegation of ineligibility is accepted, the reviewing official SDO legal counsel will review records and other material, and may request further information and conduct any investigation deemed necessary.
- Where reasonable cause is established, the SDO will notify the firm in writing that ineligibility proceedings have been initiated
- Ineligibility complaints should be submitted to the following address:
The Supplier Diversity Office
One Ashburton Place, Room 1313
Boston, MA 02108
- Recipient-Initiated Proceedings
- If, based on information gained by MassDOT that implicates a change in its circumstances or other information that gives reasonable cause to believe that a currently certified firm is ineligible, MassDot will direct the SDO to conduct a certification review to determine if such cause exits. Where reasonable cause is established, the SDO will notify the
- Firm in writing that ineligibility proceedings have been initiated. Such notice will set forth the reasons for the proposed removal and will specifically reference the evidence in the record on which each reason is based.
- The SDO, as the sub-recipient, may independently, without a directive from MassDot, establish reasonable cause and initiate an ineligibility proceeding.
- Directive to Initiate Proceeding
- If any USDOT operating administration determines that information in the certification records, or other information available to the relevant operating administration, provides reasonable cause to believe that a certified firm does not meet the eligibility criteria, the concerned operating administration may direct the MassDOT to initiate a proceeding to remove the firm's certification.
- The concerned US DOT operating administration must provide an official of the MassUCP and the firm a notice setting forth the reasons for the directive, including any relevant documentation or other information.
- Notification Process
- Any recommendation to remove a company’s DBE certification will require The Executive Director will notify the company in writing, of the grounds for the removal, its right to a local hearing , or to submit written arguments within 10 days. As Executive Director may only recommend decertification, the company remains certified during the period leading up to any hearing. During which time, SDO reserves the right to continue to collect evidence, and generally investigate the company.
- General Counsel will maintain a record of the date it notified the DBE of the proposed decertification, process any requests for a local hearing, and promptly notify the MassUCP Adjudicatory Board of any such requests.
- Should the DBE fail to exercise its right to a local hearing or submit written arguments within ten days of notification, Director of Civil Rights/DBELO of MassDOT shall render a final decision and notify the entity, in writing, of its decertification. In such a case, Executive Director or General Counsel will prepare the letter and control sheet for the authorized individual to sign.
- Local Hearing
- Once a hearing request or written arguments are received, the MassUCP adjudicatory board will arrange for a hearing or will convene within 30 days. The MassUCP Adjudicatory Board will be comprised of the MassDOT Secretary of Transportation (or designee); and four members: one from the Transit Division, one from the Aviation and MassPort Division, one from the Office for Civil Rights, and the MassDOT Administrative Law Judge. In the event that one of the members of the Board is required to recuse him or herself, which will occur in an action in which his or her impartiality or fairness may reasonably be questioned, the Administrative Law Judge will take the place of the recused member.
- None of the members of the adjudicatory board will have previously taken part in the actions leading to the removal of the firm's eligibility, and no member may be subject to the direction of any personnel who initiated the proposed action.
- While the right is to a local hearing, the firm may submit its arguments in writing without attending the hearing, and has the right to have the Board base its decision on the written documents.
- The hearing with be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26, Subpart D and Informal Fair Hearing Rules codified at 801 CMR 1.02; and a complete record, including a transcript, of the proceedings will be maintained, and will be made available to USDOT, if there is an appeal under 49 CFR Part 26.89, and to the firm upon request.
- Once a hearing request or written arguments are received, the MassUCP adjudicatory board will arrange for a hearing or will convene within 30 days. The MassUCP Adjudicatory Board will be comprised of the MassDOT Secretary of Transportation (or designee); and four members: one from the Transit Division, one from the Aviation and MassPort Division, one from the Office for Civil Rights, and the MassDOT Administrative Law Judge.
- Final Decisions After any final decision rendered by the MassDOT Adjudicatory Board in which a firm is found ineligible and decertified, The SDO shall make an entry in the Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights Ineligibility Determination Online Database.
- Certification Appeals
- Any firm that has been denied certification or whose eligibility is removed may submit an administrative appeal to the USDOT, provided that it has exercised its rights to a local hearing, if applicable.
- Anyone submitting an ineligibility complaint, including a concerned USDOT operating administration, may appeal to the USDOT if the Adjudicatory Board does not find reasonable cause to propose removing the firm’s eligibility or, following a removal of eligibility proceeding, determines that the firm is eligible.
- All administrative appeals must be filed in writing within 90 days of the Adjudicatory Board’s final decision to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Civil Rights
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.
Washington, D.C. 20590
- The Adjudicatory Board’s final decision shall remain in effect concerning any matter under appeal, pending the USDOT’s determination.
- Ineligibility Complaints
- Waiting Period/Notification
- Waiting Period a. Any company, who is administratively removed or is decertified, may reapply for certification after 11 months. The time will accrue from the date any decision regarding the entity’s certification becomes final.
- SDO’s EDP System Analyst shall publish its and decertification’s online. Where a denial or decertification occurs, SDO’s EDP System Analyst will also publish the report supporting its decision, focused on the regulatory basis for its determination. a. Information of a proprietary nature or regarding internal business operations will not be disclosed
- Waiting Period