Just in time for the holidays, there is good news for WOSBs–sole source contracts are coming!
If you have followed SmallGovCon over the past week, you have seen a few posts about changes made to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act since the bill was initially passed by the House in May. But one piece of the original House bill has remained intact: the final 2015 NDAA allows WOSBs and EDWOSBs to receive sole source contracts.
The final 2015 NDAA contains a provision authorizing contracting officers to award sole source contracts to WOSBs and EDWOSBs of up to $6.5 million for manufacturing, and up to $4 million for other industries. The NAICS code restrictions remain the same; sole source contracts are only authorized in the industries where WOSB or EDWOSB set-asides are currently allowed.
WOSB advocates worked hard to gain similar sole source authority as 8(a), SDVOSB, amd HUBZone programs, and they finally got it! Congratulations are deserving to all of those who pushed to bring the WOSB program closer to parity with the other three socioeconomic programs.
The NDAA is expected to be signed into law soon. Hopefully the SBA and FAR Council will work quickly to adopt regulations implementing the new sole source authority–and hopefully, the new authority will help the government finally exceed its 5% WOSB goal.