Nearly 90% of women-owned small business sole source contracts reviewed by the SBA Office of Inspector General were improper, according to a startling report issued yesterday.
In the study, the SBA OIG concluded that because of pervasive flaws in the award of WOSB and EDWOSB sole source contracts, “there was no assurance that these contracts were awarded to firms that were eligible to receive sole-source awards under the Program.” And if that wasn’t enough, the SBA OIG reiterated its position that, as a legal matter, it is improper to award any WOSB or EDWOSB sole source contract to a self-certified company.
The woman-owned small business program is in the midst of major changes: from the addition of sole source authority, to lingering questions about what the heck the SBA’s plan is to address the elimination of WOSB self-certification.
I recently joined host “Game Changers” podcast host Michael LeJune of Federal Access for an in-depth discussion of recent WOSB program changes, and where the WOSB program goes from here. Click here to listen to the podcast, and visit the Game Changers SoundCloud page for more great discussions with government contracting thought leaders.
WOSB sole source authority is now part of the FAR.
Effective December 31, 2015, the FAR Council has adopted an interim rule incorporating the WOSB sole source authority adopted in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act and recently made part of the SBA’s regulations.
I am back in Kansas after a great trip to Salt Lake City, where I spoke at the 10th Annual PTAC Procurement Symposium. My presentation covered important new developments in government contracting, including the SBA’s proposed new “universal” mentor-protege program, the new WOSB sole source authority, and more.
Many thanks to Fred Lange, Chuck Spence, and their team at the Utah PTAC for inviting me to speak. Thanks also to all of those who attended the conference and made this such a great event.
I will be here in Lawrence for a few weeks, and then it is on to Washington, DC, where I will be sitting in on Supreme Court oral arguments in the Kingdomware SDVOSB/VOSB case and speaking on Kingdomware and other timely government contracting topics at the APTAC Fall Conference.
WOSB and EDWOSB sole source contracts will be authorized under the SBA’s regulations effective October 14, 2015.
In a final rule published today, the SBA implemented regulatory authority pursuant to which Contracting Officers may issue sole source contracts. The question now is whether Contracting Officers will be willing to issue sole source contracts based on the SBA’s rule–or will wait until the FAR Council adopts similar authority.
The SBA has acknowledged that Congress eliminated WOSB self-certification in the 2015 NDAA–but suggests that WOSB self-certification may continue until the SBA adopts a regulatory framework for a formal certification program.
In a proposed rule released today, the SBA adopts a pragmatic approach that nonetheless may be legally problematic given that Congress did not authorize a continuation of WOSB self-certification pending SBA regulatory action.
Women-Owned Small Business sole source contracts have moved one step closer to becoming a reality.
Today, the SBA issued a proposed rule implementing the WOSB sole source authority contained in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The relative speed with which the proposed rule was issued suggests that WOSBs could begin receiving sole source awards later this year.