WCOE LEGISLATIVE BURST

Written by bdavis

November 7, 2021

WCOE Meets with SBA
Tackling WOSB Procurement Issues

On November 16, WCOE members Deborah Bradley (NY) and Lorraine D’Angelo (NY) met with SBA officials in Washington, DC, exceeding the short-term goals set by the WCOE Legislative Committee for the meeting. WCOE was looking for some procurement data on WomenOwned Small Businesses (WOSBs) which SBA provided for WCOE at the meeting. One of the primary goals of the meeting was to raise the visibility of WCOE within SBA and to make contacts so WCOE can be part of the process for program development and changes, in order to meet the longer-term goal which is to help WCOE member companies more easily participate in the federal construction marketplace. SBA was represented by Robb Wong, Associate Director for Government Contracting & Business Development, Ken Dobbs, Director Policy, Planning & Liaison Government Contracting Regulations, Small Business Size Standards, Small Business Prime Contractor Goals and Carol Hulme, Program Analyst, Government Contracting and Business Development.

“The Midterm Elections Post Big Victories for Women Candidates.  25 Women Senators and 102 Women House Members”.

Accomplishments:

• Mandatory Consideration Pilot Program – SBA agreed to work with WCOE to help establish a “Mandatory Consideration” Pilot Program within the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) as a first-step toward increasing women-owned construction firms win more construction contract awards. It will be modeled after an on-going pilot program within the Department of the Navy.
• SBA Certification Program – Mr. Wong noted SBA has listened to Congress, WCOE and others about problems with WOSB SelfCertification and plans to follow-through with initiatives to establish a certification program. He indicated WCOE can be influential as SBA develops their certification program. Be sure to give WCOE President Theresa Kern your thoughts and ideas on a meaningful certification program. Mr. Wong indicated a strong preference to keep the program cost-free so small and start-up companies would be able to take advantage of the certification program.
• Procurement Data – Mr. Dobbs provided Women-Owned Small Business procurement data by NAICs codes, which includes 2016 and 2017 WOSB awards in numbers of contracts and dollars, …this data will be available on the WCOE website. Deborah and Lorraine noted for the SBA staff that outside the published SBA Procurement Scorecard, there are not real incentives for meeting WOSB procurement goals nor any consequence for not meeting the goals which the SBA staff acknowledged. Other items were discussed but WCOE hopes to move on the pilot program and certification program ideas quickly. Mr. Wong and the other SBA attendees were invited to join WCOE in some capacity during WCOE’s annual conference in March.

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