On Friday, May 1, 2015 and just in time for National Small Business Week (May 4 -8) , the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a Proposed Rule implementing those provisions of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which provide for sole-source contracts for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB).
The proposed rule provides the following:
- Sole-source awards can be made to EDWOSBs in those industries the SBA has determined that WOSB are underrepresented; sole-source awards can be made to WOSBs in those industries the SBA has determined WOSBs are substantially underrepresented.
- Contracting officers will be able to make a sole-source award to a EDWOSB/WOSB in the appropriate industry under the following circumstances: (1) the contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that 2 or more EDWOSB/WOSB will submit offers (perform at a fair and reasonable price); (2) the contracting officer has identified one EDWOSB/WOSB that can perform the requirement at a fair and reasonable price; (3) the contract value, including options, will not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing and $4 million for all other contracts; (4) the contractor is responsible with respect to performance of the requirement.
- The prospective awardee's status as a EDWOSB/WOSB can be protested by the SBA and/or the contracting officer. However, a competitor or unsuccessful offeror is not able to file a formal protest challenging EDWOSB/WOSB status with respect to a sole-source award (this is consistent with sole-source awards to the other small business set-aside programs).
The proposed rule is open for public comment until June 30, 2015. To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov.