Newly passed Act includes improvements to WOSB procurement program

how money can be appropriated each year for the U.S. Department of Defense’s activities. The law was originally written in 2000, and is updated each year, but it contained limitations on the way that woman-owned small businesses could participate. The law prevented woman-owned small businesses from proposing contracts that were comprehensively over $5 million (among multiple businesses), and also limited the way that contracts could be set aside for women-owned businesses; in order to qualify, more than one woman-owned business needed to input an offer, or the Department of Defense wouldn’t have to provide the opportunity at all. However, non-WOSB procurement programs were allowed to bid on contracts up to $4 million each, regardless of what other companies were proposing, and there were not limits as to how many of a certain type of business could apply. For years, the WIPP fought the Small Business Administration to remove the cap on project bidding, and three years ago, they succeeded in removing the limits. Finally, after 14 years of WIPP’s fight, the 2014 NDAA is the first act that allows for sole source authority for WOSB, so women can compete for contracts without having to compete directly with another WOSB. “Through WIPP’s persistence for 14 years, we finally have a program that is sustainable,” wrote Ann Sullivan, WIPP Government Relations. “Now, for the first time in history, let’s make sure the federal government meets its goal of 5 percent with women-owned firms.” The Small Business Association still needs to implement the NDAA and its new language for the next fiscal year, and the changes need to be approved by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, but the WIPP is ecstatic about the win for women-owned businesses.]]>

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