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Sole Source Authority for WOSB Program — Update

On December 19, 2014, the 113th Congress signed a new law granting Sole Source Authority for the Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.  This law allows for sole source contracts to be awarded of up to 4 million dollars for most industries and up to 6.5 million dollars for manufacturing.  For a contract to be sole sourced, the Contracting Officer must not have a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs will submit an offer.  Sole source authority is limited to any small business concern owned and controlled by women, and applies to both economically disadvantaged WOSBs, as well as substantially underrepresented industries.

Although the Sole Source Authority law has been passed, it must now work its way through the regulatory process.  The regulatory process includes an internal federal agency review and public comment period and review, a final rule proposal and comment period, and then Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council adoption.  Until you are notified of changes by the Small Business Association (SBA) and regulatory actions are implemented, self-certification remains in place and everything remains the same.

This law represents a hard earned achievement amongst WOSBs and grants women better access to federal contracts and funds.  Its implementation has been largely supported by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), SBA, Capitol Hill, and over 24 organizations concerned with parity for women and small businesses.

Components of the New Law

When the requirements process is finalized and SBA implements the program it will replace self-certification; which is the current standard.  The agencies which will be able to certify are federal agencies, a state government, and the SBA or a national certifying entity approved by the SBA.  Additionally, the SBA is also expediting the study of eligible industries that may participate in the program.

To learn more about the requirements for a business to be controlled by women and read the actual text of the legislation, please refer to articles on the SBA and legislation webpages, respectively.  Also contact BH Sky to speak directly to a WOSB procurement specialist.

About BH Sky

BH Sky Associates, based in Princeton, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., helps clients identify, negotiate, secure, market and manage procurement opportunities and contracts at federal, state, and local levels of government.  It is New Jersey’s only company specializing in GSA/VA Schedule Contracts and Government Market Intelligence.  BH Sky offers professional consulting services to small and mid-size companies in a wide range of industries seeking to do business with the government.  For more information, view our videos or contact us directly by phone 866.468.7420 or email.