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SBA Issues Proposed Rule on WOSB/EDWOSB Certification

Tuesday, May 14, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Advocacy Team
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Today, the SBA issued its long-awaited proposed rule on WOSB/EDWOSB certification. In 2015 when WIPP secured sole source authorization for the WOSB program, Congress also directed the SBA to come up with its own WOSB certification, doing away with self-certification. Below is the summary of the proposed rule. Read the proposed rule in its entirety.

 

The public comment period for the rule is open until July 15. WIPP will be preparing a response to submit.

Major Points:

  1. SBA will certify through the electronic portal, https://certify.sba.gov. Self-certification goes away under this rule as does the requirement that a contracting officer must review the WOSB/EDWOSB’s certifications and documentation. 
  2. Given the expected backlog of applicants who move from self-certified to the new SBA certification, applicants could claim the status unless they received a negative determination.  An expedited procedure would be put in place for applicants waiting certification with pending contracts.
  3. SBA will accept the following certifications for WOSB eligibility: 8(a), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) CVE as a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business or Veteran-Owned Business, or certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) by a state agency authorized by the Department of Transportation (DOT); or a Third Party Certifier. Additional documentation will be required for EDWOSB status for those other than 8(a).
  4. Although everyone needs to certify through the https://certify.sba.gov portal, the SBA will accept certifications already received through third party certifiers, DOT’s DBE program, the VA’s CVE program and other SBA programs. Those certified by third party certifiers will have a one year grace period to complete the new certification.
  5. SBA proposes to change the 8(a) economic disadvantaged thresholds to align with EDWOSB, thus ensuring an 8(a) certified WOSB is also eligible for the EDWOSB certification.
  6. Third parties can continue to certify, given they inform women that they can obtain a SBA certification at no cost. 
  7. Certifications are only required for WOSB/EDWOSB set asides and sole source contracts. SBA certification is not required for women-owned companies who contract with the government but do not use the WOSB program, but the government can count these awards for purposes of meeting their WOSB goals.
  8. If denied certification, a WOSB/EDWOSB can request reconsideration, similar to the 8(a) program. 
  9. The contract protest mechanism currently used will remain intact.
  10. Requires WOSB/EDWOSB recertification every three years.

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