40 Percent of Women-Owned Small Business Contracts Awarded to Ineligible Firms

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce announced today a critical challenge to the President, Small Business Administration (SBA) and Congress to act immediately to bring real accountability in contracting to women-owned and all small business federal contracting programs.

This call to action follows the publishing a long awaited Government Accountability Office report, released on November 17, 2014, on accountability in the SBA oversight of the women-owned small business federal contracting program. The GAO report, provided to Senators Maria Cantwell and Mary Landrieu, Chair and Former Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, details systemic and costly failures by the SBA in the oversight of the women-owned small business set-aside program and of socioeconomic programs across the entire federal marketplace.

"The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce was alarmed to find the GAO report included the disclosure that more than 40% of women-owned set-aside contracts were awarded to ineligible firms in FY 2012 and 2013,"[1] stated Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. "This lack of accountability does not end with just women-owned set-asides. Per the GAO, statements made by SBA officials disclose that the levels of ineligibility found during their examination of the women's program were similar to those found in examinations of its other socioeconomic programs," adds Dorfman. "The GAO report also reveals the SBA is doing very little to prevent ineligible firms from attesting their status as women-owned in the federal database of contractors, receiving set-aside contracts and being counted toward government-wide women-owned small business annual contract goaling reports."
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