View all text of Subpart F [§ 26.101 - § 26.109]

§ 26.109 - What are the rules governing information, confidentiality, cooperation, and intimidation or retaliation?

(a) Availability of records. (1) In responding to requests for information concerning any aspect of the DBE program, the Department complies with provisions of the Federal Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (5 U.S.C. 552 and 552a). The Department may make available to the public any information concerning the DBE program release of which is not prohibited by Federal law.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of Federal or state law, you must not release any information that may reasonably be construed as confidential business information to any third party without the written consent of the firm that submitted the information. This includes applications for DBE certification and supporting information. However, you must transmit this information to DOT in any certification appeal proceeding under § 26.89 of this part or to any other state to which the individual's firm has applied for certification under § 26.85 of this part.

(b) Confidentiality of information on complainants. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, the identity of complainants shall be kept confidential, at their election. If such confidentiality will hinder the investigation, proceeding or hearing, or result in a denial of appropriate administrative due process to other parties, the complainant must be advised for the purpose of waiving the privilege. Complainants are advised that, in some circumstances, failure to waive the privilege may result in the closure of the investigation or dismissal of the proceeding or hearing. FAA follows the procedures of 14 CFR part 16 with respect to confidentiality of information in complaints.

(c) Cooperation. All participants in the Department's DBE program (including, but not limited to, recipients, DBE firms and applicants for DBE certification, complainants and appellants, and contractors using DBE firms to meet contract goals) are required to cooperate fully and promptly with DOT and recipient compliance reviews, certification reviews, investigations, and other requests for information. Failure to do so shall be a ground for appropriate action against the party involved (e.g., with respect to recipients, a finding of noncompliance; with respect to DBE firms, denial of certification or removal of eligibility and/or suspension and debarment; with respect to a complainant or appellant, dismissal of the complaint or appeal; with respect to a contractor which uses DBE firms to meet goals, findings of non-responsibility for future contracts and/or suspension and debarment).

(d) Intimidation and retaliation. If you are a recipient, contractor, or any other participant in the program, you must not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual or firm for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this part or because the individual or firm has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this part. If you violate this prohibition, you are in noncompliance with this part.

[64 FR 5126, Feb. 2, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 35556, June 16, 2003; 76 FR 5101, Jan. 28, 2011]