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Chapter 10: Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program

Topics in this Chapter 

  1. Background
  2. Authority
  3. Small Business Goals
  4. HHS Small Business Specialist Review
  5. Set-Asides

This part sets forth policy and procedure about HHS’ awards to Woman-Owned Small Business concern (WOSB). It expands on key aspects of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the U.S. Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulations (HHSAR).


The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994, Public Law 103-355 established a Government-wide goal of 5 percent for WOSB concerns.


In accordance with FAR Subpart 19.201 (a), HHS provides “maximum practicable opportunities in its acquisitions to small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns”.

A WOSB is a business in which at least 51 percent is owned by one or more women or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more women.

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The Department’s small business goals for WOSBs are as follows:

Prime Contracting Goal: 5 percent
Subcontracting Goal: 5 percent


The CO shall consult the SBS during the acquisition planning process (FAR 7.104(d)(1)). Once the acquisition strategy has been determined, refer to Chapter Two (2)-Acquisition Planning and Market Research, Chapter Four (4)- Small Business Set Asides, Chapter Five (5) - Small Business Review of Simplified Acquisition Actions, Chapter Six (6) Small Business Review of Contract Actions and Chapter Seven (7) - Subcontracting for details regarding the HHS SBS review.


Set-aside authority for WOSB was established in Public Law 106-554 to assist agencies in meeting the Government-wide goal WOSB statutory goal. However, currently the FAR does not address set-aside policy and procedure specifically for the WOSB program. Awards (prime and subcontracts) issued to WOSB are included in the Department’s overall small business goal.

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