Nearly 90% of women-owned small business sole source contracts reviewed by the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) were improper, according to a startling report issued last week.
In the study, the SBA OIG concluded that because of pervasive flaws in the award of WOSB and EDWOSB sole source contracts, “there was no assurance that these contracts were awarded to firms that were eligible to receive sole-source awards under the Program.” And if that wasn’t enough, the SBA OIG reiterated its position that, as a legal matter, it is improper to award any WOSB or EDWOSB sole source contract to a self-certified company.
The SBA OIG studied 56 WOSB and EDWOSB sole source contracts awarded between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017. This pool “represented 81 percent of the Program’s contracts awarded on a sole-source basis for this time period.”
The results were startling: SBA OIG determined that “Federal agencies’ contracting officers and firms did not comply with Federal regulations for 50 of the 56 Program sole-source contracts, valued at $52.2 million.” As a result, there was no assurance that these contracts were awarded to eligible WOSBs and EDWOSBs.