As most of you are aware, the new Women-Owned Small business preference Program (WOSB) – is called the 8(m) program by the Small Business Administration (SBA) after the section number of the enabling legislation, just like the small disadvantaged business program is called the 8(a) program – goes live in February 2011.
Most of the insiders in DC have circled the wagons to develop Women-Owned Small business postures that will leave most of you in dust wondering what happened come June 2011. We recommend that micro & small – WOSBs act now to be competitive in the program by forming JVs with other firms in categorically restricted competition programs like HUB-Zone, 8(a), veteran-owned, etc., to increase and diversify capability; and obtain relevant government past performance where none currently exists.
SHORT-TERM COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Year after year federal agencies have been unable to meet their WOSB goals because WOSBs did not have a preference position in making contract awards like disadvantaged, veteran owned, and HUB Zone small businesses.
With aspirations towards a second presidential term, The Obama administration will highlight the significance of the new program for obvious political reasons, not to mention the fact that the Bush administration did everything in their power to scuttle the program.
RISK PROFILE FOR THE 8(M) PROGRAM
We anticipate that there will be a short-term flurry of WOSB contracting awards in 2011 followed by a steadier state where the agencies meet their women-owned goals on a more regular basis in 2012 thereafter. However, since WOSBs can self certify as to their eligibility, we anticipate long procurement cycles and frequent post-award protests.
Be advised, that In the event of a contract protest or program review, the SBA has the authority to request substantial additional documentation from the WOSB to establish eligibility. On a positive note, the SBA intends to pursue vigorously punitive action against ineligible firms which seek to take advantage of this program and in so doing to deny its benefits to the intended legitimate WOSBs.
VSBA will work with ALJUCAR & Co. to provide strategic support to manage a select group of 8(m) Joint Ventures in pursuit of sole-source and competitive price to win federal contracts. If you are a small woman-owned firms with little to no government past performance, please forward your summary capability statement and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “8(m)” on the subject line.