SBA just amended its regulations to remove the limitation on the dollar amount of a contract that women-owned small business can compete for under the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program. As a result, contracting officers may now set-aside contracts at any dollar level, as long as the other requirements for a set-aside under the program are met.
This policy change was required by Section 1697 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. Previously, the cap had been set at $5 million for manufacturing contracts and $3 million for all other contracts.
In Fiscal Year 2011, the Federal Government awarded only 4 percent of its contracts to WOSBs. This is short of the 5 percent statutory goal for such awards. Removing the cap should help Federal agencies reach the goal.
If a contracting officer has a reasonable expectation based on market research that two or more WOSBs will submit offers (including economically disadvantaged WOSBs or EDWOSBs) and that an ensuing contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable price, he/she may restrict competition to those firms that are so designated (see 13 CFR 127.503).