SBA watchdog warns of IT security risks, poor data in contracting goals

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has made solid headway in addressing most of its 10 major management and performance challenges, but took a step backward on information technology security, its inspector general reported.

SBA - IGSBA also falls short in verifying data and toughening enforcement to curb the number of large companies that improperly win contracts intended for small businesses, according to a report and score card released Oct. 15.

Noting that recent governmentwide security breaches have “heightened the importance of continuously monitoring networks and software applications,” the IG and an external auditor identified IT security “weaknesses when on-boarding and separating SBA personnel,” the report said. The agency lost ground over the past year in implementing such recommendations as reporting IT security weaknesses, segregating duty controls and assuring that “access controls are in place and operating effectively, and contractors are not granted system access until they have obtained the required background investigations and/or security clearances.”

On the SBA-led governmentwide effort to award 23 percent of all prime contracts to qualified small businesses, the score card provides ammunition to outside critics who argue that too many large firms are siphoning off contract set-asides.

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Mass. AG cracksdown on DBE/MBE misrepresentations in subcontracts

The Massachusetts Attorney General is taking action to ensure that general contractors working on public construction are complying with state requirements to use DBE/MBE subcontractors.

Massachusetts sealIn August 2015, the Attorney General filed suit (Comm of MA v. CTA Construction Co., Inc. et al., Suffolk Superior Court Civ. Action No. 2015-02491) against multiple contractors for allegedly violating the Massachusetts False Claims Act by making misrepresentations over their compliance with requirements for working with Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and/or Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE).

The defendant contractors immediately settled for a combined $1.4 million.

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SBA rule authorizes sole source awards to WOSBs and EDWOSBs

The Small Business Administration (SBA) published a rule today (Sept. 14, 2015) allowing sole source awards to Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs) in appropriate circumstances.


SBA sealThe new rule changes existing SBA regulations in order to conform to section 825 of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The rule is effective October 14, 2015.  The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) will need to be amended to include the sole source authority so that there is no conflict between the SBA’s rules and the FAR.

The sole source authority can only be used where a contracting officer (CO) conducts market research in an industry where a WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside is authorized, and the CO cannot identify two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs that can perform at a fair and reasonable price, but identifies one WOSB or EDWOSB that can perform. In addition, the sole source authority for WOSBs and EDWOSBs is limited to contracts valued at $6.5 million or less for manufacturing contracts and $4 million or less for all other contracts.

The rule is published in the Federal Register at:



Academy to host U.S. Women’s Chamber meeting in Atlanta on Sept. 16th

Following a successful Georgia chapter kick-off event in June, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce returns to the Georgia Tech campus on Sept. 16, 2015 with a special event — Growth Masters™.

Growth Masters™ is a community of individuals who are committed to actively owning their opportunities; confidently and capably leveraging resources to achieve financial, business, career, leadership and personal growth.

uswccThe Sept. 16th event will be a brown bag lunch meeting highlighting and focusing on success strategies to help women-owned businesses grow their firms through education and dialogue.  NOTE: This meeting has been converted to a webinar.  To register, please visit:

Guest speaker at the September event will be Crystal Blackwell.  She is President and Chief Executive Officer of Staffing One, Inc.   Ms. Blackwell is also Chief Executive Officer of Human Capital Management, Inc., a direct hire firm, and Blackwell Capital, LLC, both Atlanta-based firms.  Staffing One began operations in Atlanta in 1996 and currently provides Administrative, Accounting, Legal and Engineering staffing services in 13 states in the Southeastern U.S.   Ms. Blackwell has over 30 years of staffing services experience. She has also marketed staffing services in the Boston and New York markets.

The September meeting of the Georgia chapter of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce is being hosted by the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech.


11:00 am – Registration & Networking

11:30 am – Guest Expert Presentation

12:30 pm – Discussion on personal and group strategies for growth

1:00 pm – Adjourn


75 Fifth Street, NW, 3rd Floor – Hodges Room, Atlanta, GA 30308

Registration Details

To register to attend this event, please click here.

Attendance is complimentary for USWCC/Supplier Members; $15 for USWCC/Business Members; $40 for USWCC/Advocate and Individual Members and Non-Members.

Not a member?  Join the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce as a Business or Supplier Member and save on this and future meetings and activities.


Georgia Tech hosting Atlanta Women’s Economic Summit on June 24

“Driving Opportunities and Influence” is the theme of an event being held in Atlanta on June 24, 2015 by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) and hosted by Georgia Tech’s Contracting Education Academy.

uswccThe event is an effort on the part of the USWCC to work with the women of Atlanta to advance economic opportunities and influence.

“Working together,” states USWCC CEO Margot Dorfman, “we will gain a good understanding of our current economic position, centers of influence within the region and steps we can take together to drive progress.  Please join us and be part of a strong economic future for women in Atlanta — and across the U.S.”

CEO Dorfman and Co-Founder Terry Williams will lead the Atlanta Women’s Economic Summit.

Agenda items on the morning of June 24 include: Women’s Economic Priorities, State of the State of Georgia Women in Business, Finding Centers of Influence for Economic Development, Tapping in to Secure Business Opportunities, Driving Opportunities and Influence, Success Strategies, and Cornerstones for the Future – Taking the Lead.  The event concludes after a lunch break, with a discussion of Opportunities and Strategic Planning for Those Interested in Leadership.

This summit will be held in Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta at the Centergy Building, 75 Fifth St, NW, Atlanta, GA 30308.

Pre-registration is required, and is open to USWCC members and non-members alike.  Registration may be accomplished at: