Federal Contracting Program Urged for Women-Owned Businesses
The National Women’s Business Council, a bi-partisan federal advisory council, recently urge the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to implement the government-wide contracting program for women-owned small businesses as quickly as possible.
The council sent a letter to SBA Administrator Steven Preston urging the action in response to an SBA-commissioned study by the RAND Corporation that found under-representation of women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) in federal contracting by as much as 87%, depending on the measure used to calculate disparity ratios.
The RAND study computed disparity ratios for WOSBs based on both the dollar value and the number of contracts awarded to WOSBs. The study indicated that WOSBs were found to be underrepresented in many more industries when disparity is measured using number of contracts awarded, rather than contract dollars awarded.
In its letter, the council encouraged the SBA to move swiftly in implementing the contracting program in order to provide women-owned businesses the opportunity to compete for their fair share of federal contracts.
In addition, the council recommended including adequate guidance and training for procurement officers government-wide when implementing the program to ensure that the set-aside is applied promptly and correctly.
The council also suggested making procurement officers accountable for reaching the goal in their performance reviews.