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Women Contractors Get Break from Feds

Thursday, May 23, 2013

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Women who head painting, construction and other contracting companies may now qualify for larger government contracts, under a new change by the Small Business Administration.

Effective May 7, the new interim final rule of the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program removes limits on the dollar value of awards that may be set aside for Women Owned Small Businesses and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Businesses, the Small Business Administration announced.

women in construction
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The rule change will give women-owned small businesses greater access to federal contracting opportunities, including those for construction, without limiting the size of the contract.

The rule was changed as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA), signed in January.

Rule Change to Meet Goal

Previously, the anticipated award price of the contract for certified women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts, according to the SBA.

Now, contracting officers will be able to set aside specific contracts for those businesses at any dollar level.

The SBA says this “will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of five percent of federal contracting dollars being awarded to WOSBs.”

Requirements to Participate

Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third-party certification.

The firm must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens, and the firm must be considered “small” under SBA’s size standards, according to the agency.

Oregon Department of Transporation
Oregon Department of Transportation

Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third-party certification.

To be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” a business’ owners must meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program regulations. 

There are four approved third-party certifiers that perform eligibility exams: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Industries Underrepresented

The Women-Owned Small Business Program identifies 83 four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes where such businesses are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented. 

Those codes include painting and wallcovering contractors; flooring contractors; new single- and multi-family housing construction firms; residential remodelers; and concrete, glass and glazing and roofing contractors.

Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price and the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract.

While the rule is final, the SBA said it would still review comments submitted on or before June 6, 2013, at www.regulations.gov, identified by the following RIN number: 3245-AG55.

   

Tagged categories: Bidding; Government; Government contracts; Laws and litigation; Small Business Administration

Comment from WAN MOHAMAD NOR WAN ABDUL RAHMAN, (5/24/2013, 3:29 AM)

IN THIS GLOBAL WORLD TODAY GENDER IS NOT AN ISSUE. THOSE WHO WORK HARD WILL SUCCEED.


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