SBA Looking to End Self-Certification

June 26, 2019

Amid small-business contracting boom, SBA looks to end self-certification for set-aside programs

Federal News Network, Jory Heckman, June 25, 2019

With one in four dollars spent in federal contracts now going to small businesses, the Small Business Administration is looking to give more teeth to the verification process for companies that claim to meet the criteria for this lucrative market.

For the sixth year in a row, agencies exceeded SBA’s governmentwide small business contracting goal and spent more than $120 billion on small-business contracts, exceeding last year’s record by nearly $15 billion. Agencies awarded 25 percent of their contract spending to small businesses in fiscal 2018 and earned an overall ‘A’ rating on SBA’s annual small business scorecard.

But next year, SBA expects to have finalized a rule that would close a loophole that allowed for participants in SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program to self-certify they’re eligible for the program, despite a provision in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act mandating SBA to put an end to the self-certifications, as well as considerable scrutiny from watchdog offices.

The Government Accountability Office reported in March that about 40% of the WOSB-certified businesses in its audit sample were ineligible for the program. GAO had also expressed concerns about the performance of several third-party WOSB certifiers. READ MORE….

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