Interim SBA Rule Expands WOSB Program

The Small Business Administration has issued an interim final rule implementing Section 1697 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (PL 112-239), which removed the statutory limitation on the dollar amount of a contract that women-owned small businesses can compete for under the Women-Owned Small Business Program. Under the change to SBA 127.503, contracting officers can now set aside contracts for WOSBs or Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs at any dollar level if there is a reasonable expectation that, in industries in which WOSBs are underrepresented, two or more EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract, or, in industries where WOSBs are substantially underrepresented, two or more WOSBs will submit offers for the contract; and in the estimation of the CO, the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price. The rule applies to all solicitations issued after May 7, 2013. Comments referencing RIN 3245-AG55 are due by June 6, 2013. For the text of the rule, see ¶70,425.489.