A new interim rule took effect on June 21, 2013, formally amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), that removes the dollar limitation for set-asides to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs), eligible under the Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business program.
The new interim rule implements section 1697 of the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which amends the part of the Small Business Act that establishes the regulations governing federal agencies’ administration of the WOSB contracting program.
Agencies previously could award WOSB/EDWOSB set-aside contracts only up to the limit of $6.5 million for manufacturing and $4 million for all other acquisitions.
Written comments need to be received by Aug. 20 before the interim rule becomes final. The interim rule can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/06/21/2013-14616/federal-acquisition-regulation-contracting-with-women-owned-small-business-concerns.
The SBA previously announced that agencies should take immediate steps, per the provisions of the NDAA, to dispense with the dollar caps on contracts set-aside for WOSBs or EDWOSBs. Other restrictions on WOSB/EDWOSB set asides (e.g., the rule of two and NAICS code applicability) still apply.
If you have questions about the federal government’s WOSB contracting program, or if need assistance in certifying your business as a WOSB and/or EDWOSB, please contact your GTPAC Counselor.