The FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) Councils finalized a rule last week that it hopes will help Federal agencies achieve the five percent statutory goal for contracting with women-owned small businesses. Under the new rule, agencies may restrict competition to Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) concerns for certain industries where the SBA has determined that WSOBs are underrepresented in Federal procurement. For industries where women-owned small businesses are not just underrepresented, but substantially underrepresented, agencies may restrict competition to either EDWOSB concerns or to WOSB concerns eligible under the WOSB program.
EDWOSB concerns and WOSB concerns eligible under the woman-owned small business program must be owned and controlled by one or more women who are citizens of the United States. We should note that the SBA is starting to crack down on abuses within the context of "controlled". An EDWOSB concern is automatically a WOSB concern eligible under the WOSB program.
This rule should help women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged woman-owned small businesses in the Federal marketplace.