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Women-Owned Small Business Set-Aside Program:  Is it Working?
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Women-Owned Small Business Set-Aside Program: Is it Working?

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  • In December of 2000, the US Congress enacted a law directing the U.S. Small Business Administration to establish government-wide contracting goals for WOSBs. This directive was part of "The Small Business Reauthorization Act" and became Public Law 106-554. It took SBA 7 years to issue its proposed rule for WOSB Set Asides. In fairness to the SBA it should be noted that in passing the 2000 Act the U.S. Congress delegated to SBA an enormously complex assignment which required SBA to navigate the current legal and constitutional issues surrounding race or gender set asides.  In previous years Congress itself has taken it upon itself to make a legislative finding of discrimination as the justification for race or gender based set asides.  For whatever reason this time around Congress delegated this task to the SBA. In addition, during this period, the Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that raised the bar for proving the existence of discrimination based on race or gender and for constitutionally imposing set-aside programs as the solution to such discrimination.The proposed rule was extremely restrictive and established 6 tests each agency had to meet before it could set aside a procurement for WOSBs. The two most restrictive rules were: 1) Only 4 NAICS codes were eligible and 2) the Agency itself had to make a determination of gender discrimination in a particular industry before it could set aside the procurement for WOSB.The Program as issued today has over 300 NAICS codes for eligible WOSBs and removes the requirement for an agency determination of discrimination.
  • Bios read by Rebecca Kehoe
  • EDWOSB Requirements: Woman must demonstrate that her ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to other in the same or similar line of business.
  • In my own experiences working with SDVOBs, there has been a reluctance on the part of many CO s to set aside procurements under new programs. Fear of protests, not enough qualified contractors with status, fear of not completing the paperwork correctly to justify set aside. How will this program overcome these obstacles? Will the new proposed SBA Rule on eligibility determinations help or hinder? The SBA has also issued a proposed rule that would presume a loss to the federal government equal to a contract’s value when a firm willfully misrepresents its size or socio-economic status. This proposed rule attempts to address the issue of awards of small business contracts to illegible contractors. In fiscal year 2010, the SBA found approximately 200 firms awarded small business contracts were actually ineligible for the award. Under the rule, contractors must: 1)meet size and status requirements the date they apply for an SBA program; 2)annually certify their size and status online on ORCA; and 3)have an authorized company official sign size and status certification for each contract award.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Women-Owned Small BusinessSet-Aside Program: Is It Working? Presented By: Rebecca Kehoe, Manager Watkins Meegan LLC Nicolette Hendricks, Sr. VP, Organizational Strategies Inc. Owner, Valhalla Holdings LLC Anna Urman, Small Business Director Community Business Partnership Arline Brex, Lead Business Development Specialist U.S. Small Business Administration Proprietary and Confidential
    • 2. Woman Owned Small Business Set- Aside Program BackgroundOn October 7, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration published a final rule effective February 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs. The WOSB Federal Contract Program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible WOSBs and EDWOSBsBut the story actually began 10 years earlier . . .
    • 3. Woman Owned Small Business Set- Aside Program Background Proprietary and Confidential 3
    • 4. Our PanelRebecca Kehoe, ManagerWatkins Meegan LLCNicolette Hendricks, Sr. VP, Organizational Strategies Inc.Owner, Valhalla Holdings LLCAnna Urman, Small Business DirectorCommunity Business PartnershipArline Brex, Lead Business Development SpecialistU.S. Small Business Administration
    • 5. Involvement in the WOSB Set-Aside Program Arline Brex Lead Business Development Specialist U.S. Small Business Administration
    • 6. Involvement in the WOSB Set-Aside Program Anna UrmanDirector, Small Business Development Center Community Business Partnership
    • 7. Involvement in the WOSB Set-Aside Program Nicolette Hendricks Sr. VP, Organizational Strategies Inc. Owner, Valhalla Holdings LLC (INSERT LOGO AND SLIDES)
    • 8. Eligibility Requirements• 51% owned and controlled by one or more women• Primarily managed by one or more women• Women must be U.S. citizens• Firm must be “small” under primary NAICS code• EDWOSB must demonstrate economic disadvantage per final rule
    • 9. Eligibility RequirementsPanel Questions: Are the WOSB requirements too restrictive or not restrictive enough? Are the EDWOSB requirements too restrictive or not restrictive enough? Has SBA made any determinations of ineligibility? Has there been use of 3rd Party Certifiers?
    • 10. WOSB/EDWOSB Set-Aside ProgramContracting officers may set aside a requirement for WOSBs if:• The NAICS code is in an industry in which SBA has designated that WOSBs/EDWOSBs are substantially underrepresented.• The contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs/EDWOSBs will submit offers.• The anticipated award price of the contract does not exceed $6.5 million in the case of manufacturing contracts and $4 million in the case of all other contracts.• The contracting officer believes the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price. Proprietary and Confidential 10
    • 11. Procurement Set-AsidesPanel Questions:• Are you seeing Contracting Officers setting aside procurements under the WOSB/EDWOSB Program?• What marketing advantages has the Program offered that were not available prior to the Program• What can be done to encourage more COs to set-aside more procurements for the Program?• Will new SBA Proposed Rule on misrepresentation of size or socio-economic status have an impact WOSB Program?
    • 12. Top 10 Departments Using WOSB State Justice Transportation EDWOSB WOSB Health and Human Services Veterans Affairs Navy Agriculture Homeland Security Army Air Force 0 20 40 60 80 100 Proprietary and Confidential 12
    • 13. Top 10 Products / Services Set Aside for WOSB 46 50 WOSB 40 EDWOSB 30 30 20 20 12 11 11 8 8 8 7 10 0 Proprietary and Confidential 13
    • 14. ConclusionsIs the Woman Owned Small Business Set-Aside Program Working?Or is it too early to tell?What is the perception on the “front lines?”
    • 15. ContactsWatkins Meegan, LLC8000 Towers Crescent Drive, Suite 950Vienna, VA 22182www.WatkinsMeegan.com