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Acquisition Policy Flash! 11-07

What's New?

Implementation of Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

Dated:  February 4, 2011

Effective Date:  Immediately

On October 7, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published a final rule to provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs).  This new rule identifies 83 industries in which WOSBs are eligible for set-asides; if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price, the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract and the anticipated contract price is not greater than $5 million for manufacturing contracts and $3 million for other contracts (Attachment 1).  The effective date of this rule is February 4, 2011.

The new WOSB Federal Contract Program will be fully implemented over the next several months, with the first contracts expected to be awarded by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011.  On Feb. 4, SBA will release instructions on how to participate in the program, as well as launch the secure, online data repository for WOSBs to upload required documents, on its website:  www.sba.gov/wosb.

During the ramp up phase, WOSBs will need to update their status in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and the Online Representation and Certification Application (ORCA) to indicate to contracting officers that they are eligible to participate.  The General Services Administration is currently updating these systems and they are expected to be completed in April, 2011.

Additionally, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 19.15 is being added to the FAR to incorporate the WOSB rule.  FAR subpart 19.15, currently going through final review, is also expected to be issued by April.

Please refer to the following link for additional information about this program:  http://www.sba.gov/content/contracting-opportunities-women-owned-small-businesses.

For question or concerns regarding this Acquisition Policy Flash, please contact Eyvonne Mallett, Senior Procurement Analyst at 202-461-5101 or Marilyn Harris, Director, Acquisition Policy at 202-461-6929.