The Small Business Administration is closing in on a proposed rule that will lighten the load for both its contracting officers, and the women-owned small businesses (WOSB) looking to work with the federal government.
Sean Crean, director of SBA’s Office of Government Contracting, said SBA is about 30-60 days away from putting a rule out for public comment, establishing a WOSB certification process.
“What will eventually happen, after this process is complete, we will implement a policy where contracting officers no longer have to go into an electronic file cabinet, they’ll be able to rely on the fact that SBA has now got an approved certified firm and it’ll be on parity with the other certification programs that we have like HUBzone, as well as the 8(a) program,” Crean said during said last week during the ChallengeHER event in Washington, hosted by SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN. “And then their choices as a contracting officer become very simple.”
The certification issue dates back to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, when Congress said it wanted two things for WOSBs, Crean said: certification for this type of small business, and for WOSBs to have sole-source contract opportunities available to them.