Federal Report: Forty-Percent of Women-Owned Small Business Set-Aside Contracts to Ineligible Firms
Article extracted from U. S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
“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,”, stated Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “And, 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.”
“It is clear, the SBA’s support of women in business is not what is so consistently purported in SBA press releases,” continues Dorfman. “When assessing the financial results of ineligible firms receiving women-owned set-asides (and the federal government erroneously counting ineligible firms as ‘women-owned’ for federal goaling reports with or without set-asides), the extent of the inaccuracies and subterfuge translates into billions of dollars which have been misattributed as contracts awarded to women-owned firms every year. In FY 2014, the potential real dollar losses for legitimately women-owned firms, as the SBA misreported the actual dollars awarded to women-owned firms, may be over $5B,” adds Dorfman.
FULL GAO REPORT ON WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES