Evaluation Report 15-10: Improvements Needed in SBA’s Management of the Women Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSBP)

Date Issued: 
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Report Number: 

OIG’s Evaluation Report 15-10, Improvements Needed in SBA’s Management of the Women Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSBP), presents the results of our evaluation of the SBA’s management and administration of WOSBP.

We found that Federal agencies’ contracting officers awarded 15 of 34 set-aside awards without meeting WOSBP’s set-aside requirements.  As a result, the $7.1 million these firms received in fiscal year (FY) 2014 set-aside awards may be improper.  For example, 10 of 34 WOSBP set-aside awards were for ineligible work, and 9 of these 34 were awarded to firms that did not provide required documentation to prove they were eligible for WOSBP.

In addition to the 9 WOSB awards that did not have any documentation in the WOSBP repository, we identified 13 of 25 firms in our sample that uploaded some—but not all—of the required documentation to the repository necessary to prove their eligibility for the program.  Additionally, 12 firms did not provide sufficient documentation to prove that a woman or women controlled the day-to-day operations of the firm.  These firms, which received $8 million, may be ineligible for their WOSBP set-aside awards.

OIG made five recommendations to the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development intended to improve how SBA manages and administers WOSBP.  WOSBP will undergo some major programmatic changes based on the National Defense Authorization Acts for FY 2013 and 2015 which will considerably increase SBA’s oversight role.  Specifically, the FY 2015 Act will (1) grant contracting officers the authority to award sole-source awards to WOSBP firms, (2) remove firms’ ability to self-certify, and (3) require firms to be certified.  Since SBA is still determining how it will implement these mandated changes, we encourage SBA officials to use the results in this report to assist them in creating a more robust WOSBP.