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What You Need To Know if You Are a Federal Contracting Officer

Verifying Eligibility Documents on the WOSB Repository

Contracting officers now have access to the WOSB Repository available at https://certify.sba.gov. Pursuant to FAR 19.1505(e), contracting officers must check whether the apparent successful offeror provided all the required eligibility documents set forth in 13 CFR 127.300(d) or (e). Contracting officers must take the following steps in order to verify that the apparent successful offeror has submitted the documents establishing its eligibility as a WOSB or EDWOSB.

  1. Go to https://certify.sba.gov and click on the “Login or create an account” link for Federal government employees.
  2. Click the Login button if you have a Max.gov account. Register your PIV or CAC card in Max.gov if you do not have a MAX.gov account.
  3. On the Request Access page, please select the Contracting Officer/Contract Specialist role.
  4. Click on the Request Access link on the left menu bar and enter in the text box the DUNS number of the apparent successful offeror.
  5. Complete the request form by entering the solicitation number, the NAICS code, and the type of procurements.

Once the apparent successful offeror approves your request, you can review the eligibility documents by using the My Requests link on the landing page. Contracting officers should note that businesses have different document requirements depending upon whether they are self-certified or third-party certified. The following Matrix will enable contracting officers to understand what documents, based upon the business type, they should validate should be present in the offeror’s file.

 

Self Certification

Corporations LLCs Partnerships Sole Proprietorships
Birth certificates; naturalization papers, or unexpired passports for women who are U.S. citizens Birth certificates; naturalization papers, or unexpired passports for women who are U.S. citizens Birth certificates; naturalization papers, or unexpired passports for women who are U.S. citizens Birth certificates; naturalization papers, or unexpired passports for women who are U.S. citizens
Articles of incorporation and any amendments Articles of organization and any amendments Partnership agreement and any amendments Assumed/fictitious name certificate(s)¹
By-laws and any amendments Operating agreement, and any amendments    
All issued stock certificates ( front and back copies) signed in accordance with the by-laws      
Stock ledger
 
     
Voting agreements, if any      
Assumed/fictitious name certificate(s), if applicable Assumed/fictitious name certificate(s), if applicable Assumed/fictitious name certificate(s), if applicable  
Joint venture agreement, if applicable Joint venture agreement, if applicable Joint venture agreement, if applicable  

¹ You should be looking for the certificate if the sole proprietor operates under an assumed/fictitious/doing business as name.

Third Party Certification (TPC): Firms certified by third party certifying entities as a WOSB or EDWOSB are only required to submit their TPC to the WOSB Repository. Please note that SBA only accepts a certification from one of the following approved certifying entities: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation; US Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

8(a) Certified Firms: Firms that SBA certified into the 8(a) Business Development Program qualify as an EDWOSB. 8(a) certified firms are required to provide their initial approval letter and most recent annual review letter from SBA.  An annual review letter provides that firms have demonstrated their continuing eligibility to participate in the 8(a) BD Program.

Detailed step-by-step instructions are provided on the Help page of the Certify website. For technical questions, please contact certify@sba.gov. For program questions, please contact wosb@sba.gov

 

WOSB Contracting

The WOSB Federal Contract Program is limited to ONLY the NAICS industry groups that have been authorized for the program. It is critical that you know which NAICS codes you can use to protect your agency and small business. 

Contracting Officers should note: 

  • The effective date for the new 2016 NAICS is 3 March 2016. See the Federal Register Notice.
     
  • For solicitations published ON or AFTER the effective date for the newly Authroized EDWOSB and WOSB NAICS codes, use
  • The original set of 83 NAICS industry groups remains effective for all solicitations published prior to March 3, 2016. Awards may still be made for the solicitations.
     
  • For solicitations published PRIOR TO the effective date for the newly Authorized EDWOSB & WOSB NAICS codes use
  • The Rule of Two is the same for the WOSB program, as it is for all other set-aside programs.
     
  • WOSB sole source requires you follow the same rules that you do for Service-Disabled Veteran- Owned Small Business or HUBZone sole source procurements.
     
  • If you have questions about the Program, your local Procurement Center Representative (PCR) is available to provide guidance on the WOSB Program requirements.
     
  • Contracting Officers’ roles and responsibilities in connection with the WOSB Program are discussed in FAR 19.15.
     
  • Contracting Officers can accept TPC when verifying an offeror’s eligibility for WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside contracts or sole source awards.
     
  • Contracting Officers can accept a WOSB’s or EDWOSB’s self-certification, as long as the contracting officer verifies that the required documentation has been uploaded to the WOSB Repository which is now available at https://certify.sba.gov.

 

WOSB Status Protests

  • Only an interested party may protest the WOSB or EDWOSB status of an apparent successful offeror on a WOSB or EDWOSB procurement.  An interested party includes offerors, the contracting officer, or SBA. The protest must be in writing and filed with the contracting officer.
     
  • In a negotiated acquisition, the contracting officer must receive the protest prior to the close of business on the fifth business day after notification by the contracting officer of the apparent successful offeror. In a sealed bid acquisition, the contracting officer must receive the protest prior to the close of business on the fifth business day after bid opening.
     
  • The contracting officer must forward all protests to SBA regardless of the timeliness or specificity. All WOSB status protests must be sent to the Director for Government Contracting, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416, or by fax to (202) 205-6390, Attn: Women-Owned Small Business Status Protest.
     
  • A referral letter from the contracting officer must include the following information including but not limited to: the solicitation number; the NAICS code assigned to the procurement; contact information of the contracting officer; the date of notification on the apparent successful offeror; and the received date of the protest. For more information, please send an email to wosb@sba.gov
     
  • SBA will determine the WOSB or EDWOSB status of the protested concern within 15 business days after the receipt of the protest, or within any extension of that time that the contracting officer may grant SBA. If SBA does not issue the decision within 15 business days, it may award the contract if he or she determines in writing that there is an immediate need to award the contract. The contracting officer must include the determination in the contract file and send a written copy to the SBA Director for Government Contracting.
     
  • SBA will notify the contracting officer, the protestor, and the protested concern in writing of its determination. The determination is in full effect unless an appeal is made and the decision is brought to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.