SBA Issues Final Rule on Sole Source Authority
Friday, September 11, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Kristie Arslan
SBA ISSUES FINAL RULE IMPROVING ACCESS TO FEDERAL CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 11, 2015) – Women-owned small businesses seeking federal contracts won a big victory today. Today’s announcement by the Small Business Administration (SBA), effective October 14th, allows for the use of sole source authority in the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program.
The FY15 National Defense Authorization Act provided agencies with statutory authority to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) through the WOSB Federal Contract Program. Currently, the WOSB program is the only major small business contracting program without this authority – putting women entrepreneurs at a distinct disadvantage. Instead, the WOSB program has a limited ability to set-aside contracts, only allowed when multiple women-owned firms signaled they would compete for the contract.
The SBA final rule is expected to be effective and available for use by federal agencies on October 14, 2015. Similar to other small business contracting programs, WOSB sole source contracts will be limited to certain sizes. For manufacturing contracts that cap is $6.5 million, while all other contracts have a cap of $4 million.
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) has championed this issue over the years and applauds the Small Business Administration (SBA), Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and legislators such as Senators Maria Cantwell, Jeanne Shaheen and Representative Jackie Speier for their leadership and efforts to bring parity to women contractors.
“After 15 years of work, the WOSB program is finally on a level playing field with other programs. This parity means women entrepreneurs face fewer barriers when entering the federal market,” said Kristie Arslan, Executive Director of WIPP. “The implementation of sole source authority for the WOSB Procurement Program is the final step in cementing the WOSB program as the tool to bring the innovations, products, and services to government agencies.”
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a nonprofit, membership organization working to increase the economic power and public policy clout of women business owners by providing business skills education, leadership opportunities for business and personal growth, and a seat at the table amongst policymakers in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2001, WIPP is recognized as a national, nonpartisan voice for women entrepreneurs, advocating on behalf of its coalition of 4.7 million businesswomen including 78 business organizations. For more information, please visit www.WIPP.org.
For more on the campaign to bring sole source to the WOSB Procurement Program, visit here.