HDOT 2019 Availability and Disparity Study

Project Overview

Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) engaged Keen Independent Research LLC, an economic consulting and policy analysis firm, to analyze whether there is a level playing field for minority- and women-owned firms in Hawaii.

The study examined HDOT contracts for construction, professional services, goods and other services and airport concessions. HDOT will use this information to update its overall goals for disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) participation in its federally funded contracts. The study team surveyed businesses about their availability to perform HDOT work.

This disparity study analyzed any evidence of disparities or other evidence of discrimination affecting minority- and women-owned businesses in the public and private sectors in Hawaii. The study team interviewed local business owners and other groups.

David Keen and Annette Humm Keen, Keen Independent Principals, directed this assignment. They are two of the nation’s leading disparity study consultants. Mr. Keen has served as an expert witness successfully defending DBE programs.

Keen Independent was joined by the following local study team members: Spire Hawaii, a Honolulu-based accounting and advisory services firm; and Pauline Worsham Marketing, a Kailua-based communications company. Keith Wiener, Attorney with Holland & Knight and Suzanne Donaldson of Donaldson Enterprises were also study team members.


The disparity study launched in March 2018. Keen Independent completed an Availability Study report in
July 2019 before publishing the full Availability and Disparity Study report in March 2020.

External Stakeholder Group

An External Stakeholder Group was assembled to provide ongoing input throughout the study.

Download External Stakeholder Group meeting notes.
Download External Stakeholder Group presentation.

How to Get Involved