Small Business Reading Room

Friday, October 08, 2010

Women-Owned Small Business Rule to Expand Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities

SBA Releases Final Women-Owned Small Business Rule to Expand Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities!

The SBA, in conjunction with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, will begin a 120-day implementation of the WOSB contracting program, including building the technology and program infrastructure to support the certification process and ongoing oversight. With implementation expected to take several months, the agency expects that federal agencies’ contracting officers will be able to start making contracts available to WOSBs under the program in early 2011.

The creation of a rule to increase federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs was authorized by Congress in 2000. Since that time, SBA took a number of steps to study and analyze the market, including looking at participation by women-owned small businesses across all industries.

Some of the components of the Women-Owned Small Business rule include:

• To be eligible, a firm must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry. In order for a WOSB to be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule.

• Based upon the analysis in a study commissioned by the SBA from the Kauffman-RAND Foundation, the final rule identifies 83 industries (identified by “NAICS” codes) in which women-owned small businesses are under-represented or substantially under-represented in federal procurements.

o The SBA has identified eligible industries based upon the combination of both the “share of contracting dollars” analysis, as well as the “share of number of contracts awarded” analysis used in the RAND study. This differs from an earlier proposed version of the rule which identified only four industries in which women-owned small businesses were under-represented. This earlier version proposed to identify eligible industries based solely on the “share of contracting dollars” analysis used in the RAND study.

• In accordance with the statute, the final rule authorizes a set-aside of federal contracts for WOSBs where the anticipated contract price does not exceed $5 million in the case of manufacturing contracts and $3 million in the case of other contracts. Contracts with values in excess of these limits are not subject to set-aside under this program.

• The final rule removes the requirement, set forth in a prior proposed version, that each federal agency certify that it had engaged in discrimination against women-owned small businesses in order for the program to apply to contracting by that agency.

• The proposed rule allows women-owned small businesses to self-certify as “WOSBs” or to be certified by third-party certifiers, including government entities and private certification groups.

o The final rule requires WOSBs which self-certify to submit a robust certification verification, to complete the certifications at the federal Online Representation and Certification Application (“ORCA”) Web site, and also to submit a core set of eligibility-related documents to an online “document repository” to be maintained by the SBA. Each agency’s contracting officers will have full access to this repository.

o The SBA intends to engage in a significant number of program examinations to confirm eligibility of individual WOSBs.

o In the event of a contract protest or program review, the SBA has the authority to request substantial additional documentation from the WOSB to establish eligibility.

o SBA intends to pursue vigorously punitive action against ineligible firms which seek to take advantage of this program and in so doing to deny its benefits to the intended legitimate WOSBs.


link to Atom Feed




Delaware Intercorp, Inc.
113 Barksdale Professional center
Newark, DE 19711-3258

"For all the best reasons to incorporate,the best place
is Delaware and the best incorporator is
Delaware Intercorp!"

Call Monday - Friday 09:00 (am) - 17:00 (pm) Eastern Time (GMT-05:00)

Toll Free - USA only - 888.324.1817
International: (1) 302.266.9367
FAX: 302.266.9940