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Advocacy Update: WOSB Final Rule Highlights

Posted By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate, Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has published its final rule for the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) certification. 
AnnSullivan
The impetus for this rule is the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which directed the SBA to create its own WOSB/EDWOSB certification. At the same time, the Congress authorized the sole source authority for the WOSB/EDWOSB program. WIPP has worked with SBA throughout this process, submitting comments with input from our members. We are thrilled to see that issues we raised were included in the final rule, such as

  •  excluding retirement accounts from net worth;
  •  harmonizing the economic disadvantage qualification across socio-economic contracting programs; and
  • continuing to allow third-party certifiers. 

The benefits of this implementation include simplifying the process for contracting officers to use the program and can rely on SBA certification with confidence. This update will require no additional document review, will replace the WOSB Repository, and will reduce amount of time to complete a certification. 

 

Definition of WOSB: At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women who are United States citizens. 

Website: certify.SBA.gov 

Effective dates: Rule goes into effect on July 15, 2020. SBA will begin processing certifications on October 15, 2020. 

Highlights:

  1. Retirement accounts will now be excluded from calculations of an economically disadvantaged individual's net worth, irrespective of the individual's age.
  2. Makes 8(a) qualifications for economic disadvantage the same as EDWOSB program. Qualifications include: (a) net worth cannot exceed $750,000; (b) adjusted gross income averaged over the three preceding years cannot exceed $350,000; (c) An individual will generally not be considered economically disadvantaged if the fair market value of all her assets (including her primary residence and the value of the applicant/participant firm) exceeds $6 million and (d) retirement funds are now excluded from net worth calculation.
  3. Only SBA certified WOSBs can use the WOSB set-aside/sole program, but agencies can count  contracts to women outside the program that are only self-certified toward their WOSB goal.
  4. Third-party certifications are accepted as are those certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs CVE, and 8(a) certifications. 8(a) certified are automatically considered to qualify as EDWOSBs. DBE certifications are not accepted.
  5. A business performing on a long-term WOSB or EDWOSB contract (i.e., one in excess of five years) must represent that it is a certified WOSB or EDWOSB in order for the award to continue to count towards an agency's WOSB goal. For new WOSB and EDWOSB set-aside contracts, a business must be able to demonstrate that it has applied for certification before the date it submitted a bid, and that it has not previously sought and been denied certification. For new WOSB or EDWOSB sole-source contracts, a business must already be certified at the time it seeks to obtain the sole-source contract.
  6. Applications will be processed within 90 days. If denied, an applicant can reapply for certification after 90 days.
  7. Requires annual certification affidavit and recertification every three years.
  8. SBA will give priority to a firm who has been awarded a contract under the program but the application is still pending before the SBA. Determination will be within 15 days.

Tags:  Advocacy  regulatory  SBA  WOSB 

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