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News & Press: Policy News

Looking Forward to 2017 - Your Feedback Counts!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017  
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Looking Forward to 2017 - Your Feedback Counts!


As we start 2017, we look forward to a new Congress and new Presidential Administration. All of these changes mean real opportunity for us to advance the needs of women entrepreneurs.


Just last week, the House passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act, which is the first major regulatory bill in a decade that would give Congress authority to eliminate regulations finalized at the end of a Presidency. It is expected to help repeal some of the more burdensome regulations for federal contractors from last year including Paid Sick Leave, Overtime, and Fair Pay, Safe Workplaces.


There are also opportunities to be found in some of the programs and policies finalized by SBA last year including the new all-small business Mentor Protégé Program, and new rules making it easier for WOSBs to work with other WOSBs.


Coming up on the regulatory front, the FAR Council that oversees federal acquisition regulations, has proposed changing rules related to small business participation on multiple award contracts (MACs). The proposed rule, clarifies the use of small business set-asides, reserves, and orders placed against MACs.


The rule also adds coverage for the new concept of a “reserve,” which would be used in solicitations for MACs where a total or partial set-aside is not feasible, but agencies want small businesses to participate as prime contractors.


WIPP members may recognize this concept of a “reserve” to be similar to the tracks as outlined in our Do Not Enter report, which shows how agencies have utilized certain socio-economic set-asides, and discriminated against women-owned firms.


The rule also discusses potential changes to setting-aside orders below the simplified acquisition threshold ($150,000), and what constitutes market research by a contracting officer.


WIPP requests that any members with feedback on the proposed rule reach out to Lin Stuart no later than Tuesday, January 17th. WIPP intends to submit comments on behalf of the women’s business community. Individual companies may comment as well, the comment period closes February 6, 2017.

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