Will the SBA Implement a WOSB Certification Program?

December 5, 2015

Inspector General: SBA Should Implement WOSB Certification Program

Source: SmallGovCon, Steven Koprince, November 2, 2015

The SBA should implement a women-owned small business certification program, according to the SBA’s own Inspector General.

In a recent report on management challenges facing the SBA, the SBA Office of Inspector General urged the SBA to adopt a WOSB certification program–and stated that failing to do so may allow ineligible firms to receive WOSB set-aside contracts.

The SBA OIG’s report notes that the 2013 and 2015 National Defense Authorization Acts made major changes to the WOSB program.  The 2013 NDAA “removed previously existing contract caps on set-aside awards for which WOSB and economically disadvantaged WOSB firms were able to compete.”  The 2015 NDAA “granted contracting officers the authority to award sole-source contracts to firms in [the WOSB program] and required firms to be certified by a Federal agency, a State government, the [SBA] Administrator, or a national certifying entity approved by the Administrator.”

However, the “SBA has opted to implement the sole-source authority provision first–separate from a certification program.”  The SBA OIG continued:

We believe allowing sole source contracting authority in [the WOSB program], without implementing the contemporaneously required certification program, is inconsistent with SBA’s statutory authorization and exposes the program to abuse.  Absent a certification program, the Government is more likely to award [WOSB] contracts to ineligible firms.  Read More …

WOSB self-certification is still allowed by the SBA. Contact your nearest PTAC if you are interested in a third-party certifier in preparation for any changes.


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