Sole Source Authority for WOSB Program Becomes Official
This September, the Small Business Administration (SBA) published its final rule implementing a law granting Sole Source Authority for the Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program, as authorized by Congress as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
The Sole Source Authority law has completed its entire regulatory review process and has been adopted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council. The law authorizes Contracting Officers to award sole source contracts of up to $4 million for most industry codes (and up to 6.5 million for manufacturing) and affects both WOSBs and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs). As of October 14, 2015, Contracting Officers were granted authority to award sole source contracts to eligible WOSBs and EDWOSBs.
About the WOSB Federal Contract Program
The WOSB Federal Contract Program includes 133 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes specific to either a WOSB or EDWOSB. It is the standard 6-digit code system currently used by federal statistical agencies to classify business establishments for purposes of measuring economic activity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Please note that the SBA is in the process of reviewing the existing NAICS codes and may consider adding additional codes representing eligible industries.
Previously, the Small Business Act included verbiage that a company could qualify for a WOSB set-aside contract by formal certification, or by self-certification (with self-submission of certification documents). However, the 2015 NDAA eliminates self-certification.
For more background on the evolution of the sole source authority law and the NDAA authorization, please see our March 2015 blog.
To see the full text of the SBA’s published ruling, click here.
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