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.
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: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/09/14/2015-22927/women-owned-small-business-federal-contract-program#h-16