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Iowa Senator calls for revising WOSB/SDVOB goal requirements

News - Published May 08, 2023

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, has introduced two bills that would affect how participation goals for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Contractors (SDVOSBs) in federal contracting are counted. The two bills Ernst has introduced are the "Accountability in Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Act" and the "Stop Stolen Valor for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Contractors Act".

The bills would prohibit federal government agencies from counting self-certified SDVOSBs and WOSBs towards participation goals for those certifications, requiring them to only count a business as such if it has been certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The bill relating to WOSBs would, in addition, require the Administrator of the SBA to prepare an interagency report to Congress not later than one year following the enactment of the bill, identifying barriers to access for WOSBs and recommendations for obviating these barriers.

While SBA ended its self-certification program for WOSBs in 2020, self-certified WOSBs are still eligible to be counted towards certain goals. Self-certified SDVOSBs, similarly, are also currently eligible to be counted towards certain goals.

"As departments continue to take credit for contract awards made to ineligible businesses, I'm fighting to bring accountability to federal contracting," said Senator Ernst in a statement.

Read the press release from Senator Ernst's office at https://www.ernst.senate.gov/news/press-releases/ernst-fights-for-accountability-in-women-owned-service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-contracting.

Read the bills at https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/1469 and at https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/1470.