July 6, 2015

Contracting with the Government

An Equal Playing Field for Women-Owned Business

Recently, the United States Small Business Administration proposed to amend a regulation that would allow contracting officers the authority to issue Sole Source contracts to Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economical Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB). The proposed rules would simply place the WOSBs on the same playing field as 8(a) certified business by not only allowing the Sole Source Contracts but adding the same ceiling amounts for contract values and applying the same protest rules.

Responses were allowed to be submitted a by June 30, 2015 and have overall been positive. Some of the highlights:

  • Setting the procurement goal at 5% on par with 8(a) programs will create the “level playing field” that WOSB have long desired. This will have the great effect of promoting WOSB to the government in not only “underrepresented” industries but across the board.
  • Efforts to meet the new deadline for January 2, 2016 to determine “underrepresented” industries within the WOSB is a great approach to determining where WOSBs are needed
  • “Fast tracking” the Sole Source Authority for WOSBs will promote Women Owned Small Businesses to contracting officers who have found the business they want to work with. There won’t be a need for the long and drawn out RFQ/RFP process under the value thresholds of $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all others.

But what will change for Women Owned Small Business? Most importantly, self-certification will be a thing of the past. A formal certification process will take effect in order for a WOSB to be awarded the set aside and consequently sole source contracts.

If you’re interested in taking a look at the proposed rules, check out the Federal Register document here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-05-01/pdf/2015-10331.pdf.

This document will also give you the chance to cross reference some FAR and CFR regulations on Women Owned Small Business programs that will change once this proposed rule goes into effect.

This article was originally posted on July 6, 2015 and the information may no longer be current. For questions, please contact GRF CPAs & Advisors at marketing@grfcpa.com.