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116th Congress   }                                            {    Report
                           HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                            {   116-239

======================================================================



 
           WOMEN'S BUSINESS CENTERS IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

October 17, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Velazquez, from the Committee on Small Business, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4405]

    The Committee on Small Business, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4405) to amend the Small Business Act to improve the 
women's business center program, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Purpose and Bill Summary........................................1
  II. Background and Need for Legislation.............................2
 III. Hearings........................................................2
  IV. Committee Consideration.........................................3
   V. Committee Votes.................................................3
  VI. Section-by-Section Analysis for H.R. 4405.......................5
 VII. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.......................7
VIII. Unfunded Mandates...............................................7
  IX. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditure7
   X. Oversight Findings..............................................7
  XI. Statement of Constitutional Authority...........................7
 XII. Congressional Accountability Act................................7
XIII. Federal Advisory Committee Act Statement........................8
 XIV. Statement of No Earmarks........................................8
  XV. Statement of Duplication of Federal Programs....................8
 XVI. Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings.............................8
XVII. Performance Goals and Objectives................................8
XVIII.Changes in Existing Law, Made by the Bill, As Reported..........8


                      I. Purpose and Bill Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4405, the ``Women's Business Centers 
Improvements Act,'' is to strengthen the Women Business Centers 
program to ensure that women entrepreneurs across the country 
have access to the vital counseling and technical training 
services to take them from startup to success.

                II. Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 4405 was introduced by Representative Sharice Davids 
(D-KS) and Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) on September 19, 
2019. The bill amends section 29 of the Small Business Act to 
make numerous improvements to the Women's Business Center 
program.
    Women's Business Centers (WBCs) are a critical component of 
SBA's entrepreneurial ecosystem. WBCs were created to assist 
small businesses primarily owned by women, many of whom are 
socially and economically disadvantaged. The WBC program funds 
more than 100 centers nationwide. In FY2018, the WBC program 
trained and advised more than 150,000 clients and created 
nearly 12,000 small businesses. Women are the fastest growing 
sector of entrepreneurs, and as more women establish home-based 
businesses or downsize from corporate executive positions, 
these centers are crucial in addressing their entrepreneurial 
needs. The Women's Business Centers Improvements Act 
strengthens the WBC program to ensure that women entrepreneurs 
across the country have access to the vital counseling and 
technical training services to take them from startup to 
success.
    The WBC program has grown tremendously since its creation 
in 1988, but resource allocation has not kept up. Additionally, 
the cap on grants to individuals WBCs has not moved since the 
program's inception and remains at $150,000. Adjusted for 
inflation, this is equivalent to approximately $325,000. In 
order to reach more women entrepreneurs, the WBC program needs 
more resources. H.R. 4405 would not only increase the 
resources, but also require annual performance reports and an 
established accreditation program modeled after that of the 
Association of Small Business Development Centers to ensure 
program consistency.

                             III. Hearings

    In the 116th Congress, the Committee on Small Business held 
a hearing on February 27, 2019 titled ``Supporting America's 
Startups: Review of SBA Entrepreneurial Development 
Programs.''\1\ The witnesses for the hearing were stakeholders 
representing each of the SBA's primary entrepreneurial 
development resource partners: Mr. Charles Rowe for America's 
Small Business Development Centers; Ms. Corinne Hodges for the 
Association of Women's Business Centers; Mr. Ken Yancey for the 
SCORE Association; and Ms. Cherlynn Sagester representing a 
Veterans Business Outreach Center.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Supporting America's Startups: Review of SBA Entrepreneurial 
Development Programs, Hearing Before the H. Comm. On Small Bus., 116th 
Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As part of this hearing, each of the entrepreneurial 
development programs was explored to analyze their success in 
assisting small business owners start and grow their 
businesses. The hearing also highlighted SBA's oversight of the 
programs and witnesses discussed the areas wherein the programs 
could be modernized and strengthened. The AWBC testified on the 
need to remove unnecessary requirements that force resources to 
be diverted from training and counseling and increased funding 
to allow for established WBCs to expand their outreach to more 
small firms and entrepreneurs. H.R. 4405 not only provides 
increased funding levels, it also compels the agency to create 
strong metrics to measure the success of the program.

                      IV. Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Small Business met in open session, with a 
quorum being present, on September 25, 2019, and ordered H.R. 
4405 favorably reported to the House of Representatives. During 
the markup, no amendments were offered.

                           V. Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto. The Committee voted by voice vote to favorably report 
H.R. 4405 to the House at 11:52 A.M.


                  VI. Section-by-Section of H.R. 4405


Section 1. Short title.

    This section designates the bill as the ``Women's Business 
Centers Improvement Act of 2019.''

Section 2. Amendments to Women's Business Center program.

    This section amends section 29 of the Small Business Act, 
making several improvements to the Women's Business Center 
(WBC) program.
    Subsection (a) provides definitions for assistant 
administrator, eligible entity, small business concern owned 
and controlled by women, Women's Business Center, and Women's 
Business Center Association.
    Subsection (b) gives the Administrator of the Small 
Business Administration (SBA) the authority to provide grants 
to WBCs for counseling and training services, increases the 
maximum grant amount to $300,000 per year, and indexes for 
inflation. The term of the initial and continuation grants will 
be five years.
    Subsection (c) sets forth grant application requirements. 
To receive a grant an entity must: designate an executive 
director or program manager; demonstrate experience and 
effectiveness in providing counseling and training; and develop 
a 5-year plan demonstrating the ability of the WBC to serve 
women who are business owners or potential business owners.
    Subsection (d) adds requisites to the SBA's review and 
approval of applications, which will now consider experience, 
time needed to commence operations, sustainability after 5 
years, location, population density, and the capacity to meet 
accreditation standards. Further, this subsection requires the 
SBA to establish regulations ensuring that eligible entities 
understand requirements.
    Subsection (e) sets forth grant requirements, which 
include: the amount and form of matching funds, the 
solicitation and disbursements of funds, the failure to obtain 
matching funds, the waivers for the non-federal share, excess 
non-federal dollars, and the carryover of funds. For initial 
grants, WBCs must provide one dollar in matching funds for 
every two dollars received from SBA for the first two years of 
the grant. For the remainder of the initial grant and the 
entirety of the continuation grants, WBCs must provide one 
dollar for every Federal dollar. At least 50 percent of the 
matching funds must be in cash. This subsection allows the 
Administrator to waive, in whole or in part, the requirement to 
obtain non-Federal funds for counseling and training 
activities. This requirement may not be waived for more than 
two consecutive fiscal years. This section also requires the 
Administrator to consider the following when determining 
whether to waive the requirement to obtain non-Federal funds: 
the economic conditions affecting the recipient; the 
demonstrated ability of the recipient to raise non-Federal 
funds; and the performance of the recipient. Further, it 
prohibits the Administrator from waiving the requirement if 
doing so would undermine program credibility. Additionally, 
this subsection exempts the non-Federal dollars obtained by the 
WBC grant recipient that is above the amount required to be 
obtained, and which is not used as matching funds for purposes 
of implementing the program, from part 200 of title 2, Code of 
Federal Regulations, or any successor. This subsection also 
allows WBCs to carryover excess non-Federal dollars for an 
additional term in order to meet the Federal match. These funds 
would be subject to the requirements of part 200 of title 2, 
Code of Federal Regulations.
    Subsection (f) prohibits eligible entities from commingling 
grant funds, requires site visits before receiving initial 
grants and annual reviews by SBA to ensure compliance with the 
grant agreements. Further, this subsection requires the SBA to 
establish a remediation plan to ensure that if a problem is 
found with a grant recipient, the WBC has an opportunity to 
take corrective action. Only after this remediation process may 
the SBA terminate the grant. This subsection also requires the 
Administrator to consult with the Women's Business Center 
Association in the development of documents with respect to the 
scope of the activities, requesting proposals to deliver 
assistance, and governing the general operations and 
administration of WBCs.
    Subsection (g) requires the Administration to conduct 
programmatic and financial exams of the entities annually, and 
to consider the results in determining whether to continue 
awards.
    Subsection (h) requires a notice and comment period prior 
to making changes to the standards governing grant obtainment 
and maintenance, accreditation standards, or any other 
operational requirement.
    Subsection (i) sets forth requirements for contract 
authority.
    Subsection (j) prescribes privacy requirements that 
prohibit WBCs from disclosing personal information without 
client permission.
    Subsection (k) clarifies the responsibilities and duties of 
the Assistant Administrator who oversees the Office of Women's 
Business Ownership (OWBO). Specifically, this section directs 
the OWBO to work with Administration officials and other 
relevant entities to ensure that the WBC program coordinates 
effectively with other programs. This section also requires the 
SBA Administrator to establish an accreditation program for the 
WBC program and provide a contract or financial assistance to 
an association which represents a majority of WBCs. 
Additionally, this section provides transition time so that a 
current WBC grantee who does not engage in criminal activity or 
fraud has time to become accredited and come into compliance. 
This section also requires each WBC to participate in an annual 
conference facilitated by a Women's Business Center 
Association.
    Subsection (l) requires the SBA to provide: public 
announcements of grant availability, the opportunity for anyone 
denied a grant to review the reason(s) for denial, and for any 
eligible entity who receives a site visit or evaluation to 
receive a copy of that report within 30 days.
    Subsection (m) requires the SBA to submit an annual report 
to the Senate and House Committees on Small Business on the 
effectiveness of the WBCs. The report should include 
information on each WBC, the most recent analysis of the 
programmatic and financial examinations, and any determinations 
made by the Administrator.
    Subsection (n) provides for an authorization of annual 
appropriations of $31.5 million for FY20-FY23. Of the $31.5 
million, $500,000 will be made available to cover accreditation 
requirements and conference costs.

Section 3. Effect on existing grants.

    This section amends Section 29(m) to ensure that existing 
WBCs have adequate time to meet the new requirements provided 
within this bill.

Section 4. Regulations.

    This section requires the Administrator, within 270 days, 
to promulgate rules as necessary to carry out section 29 of the 
Small Business Act as amended by this bill.

             VII. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    At the time H.R. 4405 was reported to the House, the 
Congressional Budget Office had not provided a cost-estimate.

                        VIII. Unfunded Mandates

    H.R. 4405 contains no intergovernmental or private sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, Public 
Law No. 104-4, and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.

 IX. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House, the Committee provides the following opinion and 
estimate with respect to new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, and tax expenditures. While the Committee has not 
received an estimate of new budget authority contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee does not believe that there will be any 
additional costs attributable to this legislation because all 
authorizations would be subject to future appropriation action.

                         X. Oversight Findings

    In accordance with clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of 
the House, the oversight findings and recommendations of the 
Committee on Small Business with respect to the subject matter 
contained in H.R. 4405 are incorporated into the descriptive 
portions of this report.

               XI. Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to clause 7 of rule XII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for this 
legislation in Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States.

                 XII. Congressional Accountability Act

    H.R. 4405 does not relate to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services or accommodations 
within the meaning of 102(b)(3) of Public Law No. 104-1.

             XIII. Federal Advisory Committee Act Statement

    H.R. 4405 does not establish or authorize the establishment 
of any new advisory committees as that term is defined in the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.

                     XIV. Statement of No Earmarks

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI, H.R. 4405 does not 
contain any congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or 
limited tariff benefits as defined in subsections (d), (e), or 
(f) of clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House.

            XV. Statement of Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House, no provision of H.R. 4405 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the federal government known to be duplicative of 
another federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the United States Government Accountability Office 
pursuant to Sec. 21 of Pub. L. No. 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                XVI. Disclosure of Directed Rulemakings

    Pursuant to clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House, H.R. 4405 does not direct any rulemaking.

                 XVII. Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XII of the Rules of the 
House, the Committee establishes the following performance-
related goals and objectives for this legislation:
    H.R. 4405 strengthens the Women's Business Center program 
by authorizing funding for the program for four years at $31.5 
million for each fiscal year, requires an annual report to 
measure the effectiveness of the program, establishes an 
accreditation program to increase accountability, and updates 
and streamlines program requirements.

      XVIII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause (E) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House, changes in existing law made by the bill, as 
reported, as shown as follows: existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman:

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

                           SMALL BUSINESS ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
[SEC. 29. WOMEN'S BUSINESS CENTER PROGRAM.

  [(a) Definitions.--In this section--
          [(1) the term ``Assistant Administrator'' means the 
        Assistant Administrator of the Office of Women's 
        Business Ownership established under subsection (g);
          [(2) the term ``private nonprofit organization'' 
        means an entity that is described in section 501(c) of 
        the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from 
        taxation under section 501(a) of such Code;
          [(3) the term ``small business concern owned and 
        controlled by women'', either startup or existing, 
        includes any small business concern--
                  [(A) that is not less than 51 percent owned 
                by 1 or more women; and
                  [(B) the management and daily business 
                operations of which are controlled by 1 or more 
                women; and
          [(4) the term ``women's business center site'' means 
        the location of--
                  [(A) a women's business center; or
                  [(B) 1 or more women's business centers, 
                established in conjunction with another women's 
                business center in another location within a 
                State or region--
                          [(i) that reach a distinct population 
                        that would otherwise not be served;
                          [(ii) whose services are targeted to 
                        women; and
                          [(iii) whose scope, function, and 
                        activities are similar to those of the 
                        primary women's business center or 
                        centers in conjunction with which it 
                        was established.
  [(b) Authority.--The Administration may provide financial 
assistance to private nonprofit organizations to conduct 5-year 
projects for the benefit of small business concerns owned and 
controlled by women. The projects shall provide--
          [(1) financial assistance, including training and 
        counseling in how to apply for and secure business 
        credit and investment capital, preparing and presenting 
        financial statements, and managing cash flow and other 
        financial operations of a business concern;
          [(2) management assistance, including training and 
        counseling in how to plan, organize, staff, direct, and 
        control each major activity and function of a small 
        business concern; and
          [(3) marketing assistance, including training and 
        counseling in identifying and segmenting domestic and 
        international market opportunities, preparing and 
        executing marketing plans, developing pricing 
        strategies, locating contract opportunities, 
        negotiating contracts, and utilizing varying public 
        relations and advertising techniques.
  [(c) Conditions of Participation.--
          [(1) Non-federal contributions.--As a condition of 
        receiving financial assistance authorized by this 
        section, the recipient organization shall agree to 
        obtain, after its application has been approved and 
        notice of award has been issued, cash contributions 
        from non-Federal sources as follows:
                  [(A) in the first and second years, 1 non-
                Federal dollar for each 2 Federal dollars; and
                  [(B) in the third, fourth, and fifth years, 1 
                non-Federal dollar for each Federal dollar.
          [(2) Form of non-federal contributions.--Not more 
        than one-half of the non-Federal sector matching 
        assistance may be in the form of in-kind contributions 
        that are budget line items only, including office 
        equipment and office space.
          [(3) Form of federal contributions.--The financial 
        assistance authorized pursuant to this section may be 
        made by grant, contract, or cooperative agreement and 
        may contain such provision, as necessary, to provide 
        for payments in lump sum or installments, and in 
        advance or by way of reimbursement. The Administration 
        may disburse up to 25 percent of each year's Federal 
        share awarded to a recipient organization after notice 
        of the award has been issued and before the non-Federal 
        sector matching funds are obtained.
          [(4) Failure to obtain non-federal funding.--If any 
        recipient of assistance fails to obtain the required 
        non-Federal contribution during any project, it shall 
        not be eligible thereafter for advance disbursements 
        pursuant to paragraph (3) during the remainder of that 
        project, or for any other project for which it is or 
        may be funded by the Administration, and prior to 
        approving assistance to such organization for any other 
        projects, the Administration shall specifically 
        determine whether the Administration believes that the 
        recipient will be able to obtain the requisite non-
        Federal funding and enter a written finding setting 
        forth the reasons for making such determination.
  [(d) Contract Authority.--A women's business center may enter 
into a contract with a Federal department or agency to provide 
specific assistance to women and other underserved small 
business concerns. Performance of such contract should not 
hinder the women's business centers in carrying out the terms 
of the grant received by the women's business centers from the 
Administration.
  [(e) Submission of 5-Year Plan.--Each applicant organization 
initially shall submit a 5-year plan to the Administration on 
proposed fundraising and training activities, and a recipient 
organization may receive financial assistance under this 
program for a maximum of 5 years per women's business center 
site.
  [(f) Criteria.--The Administration shall evaluate and rank 
applicants in accordance with predetermined selection criteria 
that shall be stated in terms of relative importance. Such 
criteria and their relative importance shall be made publicly 
available and stated in each solicitation for applications made 
by the Administration. The criteria shall include--
          [(1) the experience of the applicant in conducting 
        programs or ongoing efforts designed to impart or 
        upgrade the business skills of women business owners or 
        potential owners;
          [(2) the present ability of the applicant to commence 
        a project within a minimum amount of time;
          [(3) the ability of the applicant to provide training 
        and services to a representative number of women who 
        are both socially and economically disadvantaged; and
          [(4) the location for the women's business center 
        site proposed by the applicant.
  [(g) Office of Women's Business Ownership.--
          [(1) Establishment.--There is established within the 
        Administration an Office of Women's Business Ownership, 
        which shall be responsible for the administration of 
        the Administration's programs for the development of 
        women's business enterprises (as defined in section 408 
        of the Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988 (15 
        U.S.C. 631 note)). The Office of Women's Business 
        Ownership shall be administered by an Assistant 
        Administrator, who shall be appointed by the 
        Administrator.
          [(2) Assistant administrator of the office of women's 
        business ownership.--
                  [(A) Qualification.--The position of 
                Assistant Administrator shall be a Senior 
                Executive Service position under section 
                3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code. The 
                Assistant Administrator shall serve as a 
                noncareer appointee (as defined in section 
                3132(a)(7) of that title).
                  [(B) Responsibilities and duties.--
                          [(i) Responsibilities.--The 
                        responsibilities of the Assistant 
                        Administrator shall be to administer 
                        the programs and services of the Office 
                        of Women's Business Ownership 
                        established to assist women 
                        entrepreneurs in the areas of--
                                  [(I) starting and operating a 
                                small business;
                                  [(II) development of 
                                management and technical 
                                skills;
                                  [(III) seeking Federal 
                                procurement opportunities; and
                                  [(IV) increasing the 
                                opportunity for access to 
                                capital.
                          [(ii) Duties.--The Assistant 
                        Administrator shall--
                                  [(I) administer and manage 
                                the Women's Business Center 
                                program;
                                  [(II) recommend the annual 
                                administrative and program 
                                budgets for the Office of 
                                Women's Business Ownership 
                                (including the budget for the 
                                Women's Business Center 
                                program);
                                  [(III) establish appropriate 
                                funding levels therefore;
                                  [(IV) review the annual 
                                budgets submitted by each 
                                applicant for the Women's 
                                Business Center program;
                                  [(V) select applicants to 
                                participate in the program 
                                under this section;
                                  [(VI) implement this section;
                                  [(VII) maintain a 
                                clearinghouse to provide for 
                                the dissemination and exchange 
                                of information between women's 
                                business centers;
                                  [(VIII) serve as the vice 
                                chairperson of the Interagency 
                                Committee on Women's Business 
                                Enterprise;
                                  [(IX) serve as liaison for 
                                the National Women's Business 
                                Council; and
                                  [(X) advise the Administrator 
                                on appointments to the Women's 
                                Business Council.
                  [(C) Consultation requirements.--In carrying 
                out the responsibilities and duties described 
                in this paragraph, the Assistant Administrator 
                shall confer with and seek the advice of the 
                Administration officials in areas served by the 
                women's business centers.
  [(h) Program Examination.--
          [(1) In general.--The Administration shall--
                  [(A) develop and implement an annual 
                programmatic and financial examination of each 
                women's business center established pursuant to 
                this section, pursuant to which each such 
                center shall provide to the Administration--
                          [(i) an itemized cost breakdown of 
                        actual expenditures for costs incurred 
                        during the preceding year; and
                          [(ii) documentation regarding the 
                        amount of matching assistance from non-
                        Federal sources obtained and expended 
                        by the center during the preceding year 
                        in order to meet the requirements of 
                        subsection (c) and, with respect to any 
                        in-kind contributions described in 
                        subsection (c)(2) that were used to 
                        satisfy the requirements of subsection 
                        (c), verification of the existence and 
                        valuation of those contributions; and
                  [(B) analyze the results of each such 
                examination and, based on that analysis, make a 
                determination regarding the programmatic and 
                financial viability of each women's business 
                center.
          [(2) Conditions for continued funding.--In 
        determining whether to award a contract (as a 
        sustainability grant) under subsection (l) or to renew 
        a contract (either as a grant or cooperative agreement) 
        under this section with a women's business center, the 
        Administration--
                  [(A) shall consider the results of the most 
                recent examination of the center under 
                paragraph (1); and
                  [(B) may withhold such award or renewal, if 
                the Administration determines that--
                          [(i) the center has failed to provide 
                        any information required to be provided 
                        under clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph 
                        (1)(A), or the information provided by 
                        the center is inadequate; or
                          [(ii) the center has failed to 
                        provide any information required to be 
                        provided by the center for purposes of 
                        the report of the Administration under 
                        subsection (j), or the information 
                        provided by the center is inadequate.
  [(i) Contract Authority.--The authority of the Administrator 
to enter into contracts shall be in effect for each fiscal year 
only to the extent and in the amounts as are provided in 
advance in appropriations Acts. After the Administrator has 
entered into a contract, either as a grant or a cooperative 
agreement, with any applicant under this section, it shall not 
suspend, terminate, or fail to renew or extend any such 
contract unless the Administrator provides the applicant with 
written notification setting forth the reasons therefore and 
affords the applicant an opportunity for a hearing, appeal, or 
other administrative proceeding under chapter 5 of title 5, 
United States Code.
  [(j) Management Report.--
          [(1) In general.--The Administration shall prepare 
        and submit to the Committees on Small Business of the 
        House of Representatives and the Senate a report on the 
        effectiveness of all projects conducted under this 
        section.
          [(2) Contents.--Each report submitted under paragraph 
        (1) shall include information concerning, with respect 
        to each women's business center established pursuant to 
        this section--
                  [(A) the number of individuals receiving 
                assistance;
                  [(B) the number of startup business concerns 
                formed;
                  [(C) the gross receipts of assisted concerns;
                  [(D) the employment increases or decreases of 
                assisted concerns;
                  [(E) to the maximum extent practicable, 
                increases or decreases in profits of assisted 
                concerns; and
                  [(F) the most recent analysis, as required 
                under subsection (h)(1)(B), and the subsequent 
                determination made by the Administration under 
                that subsection.
  [(k) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          [(1) In general.--There is authorized to be 
        appropriated, to remain available until the expiration 
        of the pilot program under subsection (l)--
                  [(A) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;
                  [(B) $12,800,000 for fiscal year 2001;
                  [(C) $13,700,000 for fiscal year 2002; and
                  [(D) $14,500,000 for fiscal year 2003.
          [(2) Use of amounts.--
                  [(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), amounts made available under 
                this subsection for fiscal year 1999, and each 
                fiscal year thereafter, may only be used for 
                grant awards and may not be used for costs 
                incurred by the Administration in connection 
                with the management and administration of the 
                program under this section.
                  [(B) Exceptions.--Of the amount made 
                available under this subsection for a fiscal 
                year, the following amounts shall be available 
                for selection panel costs, post-award 
                conference costs, and costs related to 
                monitoring and oversight:
                          [(i) For fiscal year 2000, 2 percent.
                          [(ii) For fiscal year 2001, 1.9 
                        percent.
                          [(iii) For fiscal year 2002, 1.9 
                        percent.
                          [(iv) For fiscal year 2003, 1.6 
                        percent.
          [(3) Expedited acquisition.--Notwithstanding any 
        other provision of law, the Administrator, acting 
        through the Assistant Administrator, may use such 
        expedited acquisition methods as the Administrator 
        determines to be appropriate to carry out this section, 
        except that the Administrator shall ensure that all 
        small business sources are provided a reasonable 
        opportunity to submit proposals.
          [(4) Reservation of funds for sustainability pilot 
        program.--
                  [(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph 
                (B), of the total amount made available under 
                this subsection for a fiscal year, the 
                following amounts shall be reserved for 
                sustainability grants under subsection (l):
                          [(i) For fiscal year 2000, 17 
                        percent.
                          [(ii) For fiscal year 2001, 18.8 
                        percent.
                          [(iii) For fiscal year 2002, 30.2 
                        percent.
                          [(iv) For fiscal year 2003, 30.2 
                        percent.
                  [(B) Use of unawarded funds for 
                sustainability pilot program grants.--If the 
                amount reserved under subparagraph (A) for any 
                fiscal year is not fully awarded to private 
                nonprofit organizations described in subsection 
                (l)(1)(B), the Administration is authorized to 
                use the unawarded amount to fund additional 
                women's business center sites or to increase 
                funding of existing women's business center 
                sites under subsection (b).
  [(l) Repealed effective October 1, 2007 by 8305(b) of Public 
Law 110-28.]
  [(m) Continued Funding for Centers.--
          [(1) In general.--A nonprofit organization described 
        in paragraph (2) shall be eligible to receive, subject 
        to paragraph (3), a 3-year grant under this subsection.
          [(2) Applicability.--A nonprofit organization 
        described in this paragraph is a nonprofit organization 
        that has received funding under subsection (b) or (l).
          [(3) Application and approval criteria.--
                  [(A) Criteria.--Subject to subparagraph (B), 
                the Administrator shall develop and publish 
                criteria for the consideration and approval of 
                applications by nonprofit organizations under 
                this subsection.
                  [(B) Contents.--Except as otherwise provided 
                in this subsection, the conditions for 
                participation in the grant program under this 
                subsection shall be the same as the conditions 
                for participation in the program under 
                subsection (l), as in effect on the date of 
                enactment of this Act.
                  [(C) Notification.--Not later than 60 days 
                after the date of the deadline to submit 
                applications for each fiscal year, the 
                Administrator shall approve or deny any 
                application under this subsection and notify 
                the applicant for each such application.
          [(4) Award of grants.--
                  [(A) In general.--Subject to the availability 
                of appropriations, the Administrator shall make 
                a grant for the Federal share of the cost of 
                activities described in the application to each 
                applicant approved under this subsection.
                  [(B) Amount.--A grant under this subsection 
                shall be for not more than $150,000, for each 
                year of that grant.
                  [(C) Federal share.--The Federal share under 
                this subsection shall be not more than 50 
                percent.
                  [(D) Priority.--In allocating funds made 
                available for grants under this section, the 
                Administrator shall give applications under 
                this subsection or subsection (l) priority over 
                first-time applications under subsection (b).
          [(5) Renewal.--
                  [(A) In general.--The Administrator may renew 
                a grant under this subsection for additional 3-
                year periods, if the nonprofit organization 
                submits an application for such renewal at such 
                time, in such manner, and accompanied by such 
                information as the Administrator may establish.
                  [(B) Unlimited renewals.--There shall be no 
                limitation on the number of times a grant may 
                be renewed under subparagraph (A).
  [(n) Privacy Requirements.--
          [(1) In general.--A women's business center may not 
        disclose the name, address, or telephone number of any 
        individual or small business concern receiving 
        assistance under this section without the consent of 
        such individual or small business concern, unless--
                  [(A) the Administrator is ordered to make 
                such a disclosure by a court in any civil or 
                criminal enforcement action initiated by a 
                Federal or State agency; or
                  [(B) the Administrator considers such a 
                disclosure to be necessary for the purpose of 
                conducting a financial audit of a women's 
                business center, but a disclosure under this 
                subparagraph shall be limited to the 
                information necessary for such audit.
          [(2) Administration use of information.--This 
        subsection shall not--
                  [(A) restrict Administration access to 
                program activity data; or
                  [(B) prevent the Administration from using 
                client information (other than the information 
                described in subparagraph (A)) to conduct 
                client surveys.
          [(3) Regulations.--The Administrator shall issue 
        regulations to establish standards for requiring 
        disclosures during a financial audit under paragraph 
        (1)(B).
  [(o) Study and Report on Representation of Women.--
          [(1) Study.--The Administrator shall periodically 
        conduct a study to identify industries, as defined 
        under the North American Industry Classification 
        System, underrepresented by small business concerns 
        owned and controlled by women.
          [(2) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date 
        of enactment of this subsection, and every 5 years 
        thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to the 
        Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the 
        Senate and the Committee on Small Business of the House 
        of Representatives a report on the results of each 
        study under paragraph (1) conducted during the 5-year 
        period ending on the date of the report.]

SEC. 29. WOMEN'S BUSINESS CENTER PROGRAM.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Assistant administrator.--The term ``Assistant 
        Administrator'' means the Assistant Administrator of 
        the Office of Women's Business Ownership established 
        under subsection (k).
          (2) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' 
        means--
                  (A) an organization described in section 
                501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and 
                exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of 
                such Code;
                  (B) a State, regional, or local economic 
                development organization, so long as the 
                organization certifies that grant funds 
                received under this section will not be 
                commingled with other funds;
                  (C) an institution of higher education (as 
                defined in section 101 of the Higher Education 
                Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)), unless such 
                institution is currently receiving a grant 
                under section 21;
                  (D) a development, credit, or finance 
                corporation chartered by a State, so long as 
                the corporation certifies that grant funds 
                received under this section will not be 
                commingled with other funds; or
                  (E) any combination of entities listed in 
                subparagraphs (A) through (D).
          (3) Small business concern owned and controlled by 
        women.--The term ``small business concern owned and 
        controlled by women'' has the meaning given under 
        section 3(n).
          (4) Women's business center.--The term ``women's 
        business center'' means the location at which 
        counseling and training on the management, operations 
        (including manufacturing, services, and retail), access 
        to capital, international trade, Government procurement 
        opportunities, and any other matter that is needed to 
        start, maintain, or expand a small business concern 
        owned and controlled by women.
          (5) Women's business center association.--The term 
        ``Women's Business Center Association'' means a 
        membership organization formed by women's business 
        centers to pursue matters of common concern.
  (b) Authority.--
          (1) Establishment.--There is established a Women's 
        Business Center Program under which the Administrator 
        may provide a grant to any eligible entity to operate 
        one or more women's business centers for the benefit of 
        small business concerns owned and controlled by women.
          (2) Use of funds.--The women's business centers shall 
        be designed to provide counseling and training that 
        meets the needs of the small business concerns owned 
        and controlled by women, especially socially or 
        economically disadvantaged women, and shall provide--
                  (A) financial assistance, including training 
                and counseling in how to apply for and secure 
                business credit and investment capital, 
                preparing and presenting financial statements, 
                and managing cash flow and other financial 
                operations of a small business concern;
                  (B) management assistance, including training 
                and counseling in how to plan, organize, staff, 
                direct, and control each major activity and 
                function of a small business concern; and
                  (C) marketing assistance, including training 
                and counseling in identifying and segmenting 
                domestic and international market 
                opportunities, preparing and executing 
                marketing plans, developing pricing strategies, 
                locating contract opportunities, negotiating 
                contracts, and utilizing varying public 
                relations and advertising techniques.
          (3) Types of grants.--
                  (A) Initial grant.--The amount of an initial 
                grant, which shall be for a 5-year term, 
                provided under this subsection to an eligible 
                entity shall be not more than $300,000 annually 
                (as such amount is annually adjusted by the 
                Administrator to reflect the change in 
                inflation).
                  (B) Continuation grants.--The Administrator 
                may award a continuation grant, which shall be 
                for a 5-year term, of not more than $300,000 
                annually (as such amount is annually adjusted 
                by the Administrator to reflect the change in 
                inflation) to an eligible entity that received 
                an initial grant under subparagraph (A). There 
                shall be no limitation on the number of 
                continuation grants an eligible entity may 
                receive under this section.
  (c) Application.--
          (1) Initial grants and continuation grants.--To 
        receive an initial grant or continuation grant under 
        this section, an eligible entity shall submit an 
        application to the Administrator in such form, in such 
        manner, and containing such information as the 
        Administrator may require, including--
                  (A) a certification that the eligible 
                entity--
                          (i) has designated an executive 
                        director or program manager, who may be 
                        compensated using grant funds awarded 
                        under this section or other sources, to 
                        manage the women's business center for 
                        which a grant under subsection (b) is 
                        sought; and
                          (ii) meets accounting and reporting 
                        requirements established by the 
                        Director of the Office of Management 
                        and Budget;
                  (B) information demonstrating the experience 
                and effectiveness of the eligible entity in--
                          (i) providing counseling and training 
                        described under subsection (b)(2);
                          (ii) providing training and services 
                        to a representative number of women who 
                        are socially or economically 
                        disadvantaged; and
                          (iii) working with resource partners 
                        of the Administration and other 
                        entities; and
                  (C) a 5-year plan that--
                          (i) includes information relating to 
                        the assistance to be provided by the 
                        women's business center in the area in 
                        which the women's business center is 
                        located;
                          (ii) describes the ability of the 
                        eligible entity to meet the needs of 
                        the market to be served by the women's 
                        business center, including the ability 
                        to obtain the matching funds required 
                        under subsection (e); and
                          (iii) describes the ability of the 
                        eligible entity to provide counseling 
                        and training described under subsection 
                        (b)(2), including to a representative 
                        number of women who are socially or 
                        economically disadvantaged.
          (2) Record retention.--
                  (A) In general.--The Administrator shall 
                maintain a copy of each application submitted 
                under this subsection for not less than 5 
                years.
                  (B) Paperwork reduction.--The Administrator 
                shall take steps to reduce, to the maximum 
                extent practicable, the paperwork burden 
                associated with carrying out subparagraph (A).
  (d) Selection of Eligible Entities.--
          (1) In general.--In selecting recipients of initial 
        grants, the Administrator shall consider--
                  (A) the experience of the applicant in 
                providing entrepreneurial training;
                  (B) the amount of time needed for the 
                applicant to commence operation of a women's 
                business center;
                  (C) in consultation with a Women's Business 
                Center Association, the capacity of the 
                applicant to meet the accreditation standards 
                established under subsection (k)(4) in a timely 
                manner;
                  (D) the ability of the applicant to sustain 
                operations, including the applicant's ability 
                to obtain sufficient non-Federal funds, for a 
                5-year period;
                  (E) the proposed location of a women's 
                business center to be operated by the applicant 
                and the location's proximity to Veteran 
                Business Outreach Centers and to recipients of 
                grants under section 8(b)(1) or 21;
                  (F) the population density of the area to be 
                served by the women's business center operated 
                by the applicant; and
                  (G) the advice and counsel of a Women's 
                Business Center Association to determine areas 
                with unmet needs and the likelihood that the 
                recipient will become accredited.
          (2) Selection criteria.--
                  (A) Rulemaking.--The Administrator shall 
                issue regulations to specify the criteria for 
                review and selection of applicants under this 
                subsection.
                  (B) Modifications prohibited after 
                announcement.--With respect to a public 
                announcement of any opportunity to be awarded a 
                grant under this section made by the 
                Administrator pursuant to subsection (l)(1), 
                the Administrator may not modify regulations 
                issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) with 
                respect to such opportunity unless required to 
                do so by an Act of Congress or an order of a 
                Federal court.
                  (C) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this 
                paragraph may be construed as prohibiting the 
                Administrator from modifying the regulations 
                issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) (after 
                providing an opportunity for notice and 
                comment) as such regulations apply to an 
                opportunity to be awarded a grant under this 
                section that the Administrator has not yet 
                publicly announced pursuant to subsection 
                (l)(1).
  (e) Matching Requirements.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (5), upon 
        approval of an application submitted under subsection 
        (c), the eligible entity shall agree to obtain 
        contributions from non-Federal sources--
                  (A) in the first and second year of the term 
                of an initial grant, if applicable, 1 non-
                Federal dollar for each 2 Federal dollars; and
                  (B) in each subsequent year of the term of an 
                initial grant, if applicable, or for the term 
                of a continuation grant, 1 non-Federal dollar 
                for each Federal dollar.
          (2) Form of matching funds.--Not more than one-half 
        of non-Federal matching funds described under paragraph 
        (1) may be in the form of in-kind contributions that 
        are budget line items only, including office equipment 
        and office space.
          (3) Solicitation.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, an eligible entity may--
                  (A) solicit cash and in-kind contributions 
                from private individuals and entities to be 
                used to operate a women's business center; and
                  (B) use amounts made available by the 
                Administrator under this section for the cost 
                of such solicitation and management of the 
                contributions received.
          (4) Disbursement of funds.--The Administrator may 
        disburse an amount not greater than 25 percent of the 
        total amount of a grant awarded to an eligible entity 
        before such eligible entity obtains the non-Federal 
        matching funds described under paragraph (1).
          (5) Failure to obtain matching funds.--If an eligible 
        entity fails to obtain the required matching funds 
        described under paragraph (1), the eligible entity may 
        not be eligible to receive advance disbursements 
        pursuant to paragraph (4) during the remainder of the 
        term, if applicable, of an initial grant awarded under 
        this section. Before approving such eligible entity for 
        a continuation grant under this section, the 
        Administrator shall make a written determination, 
        including the reasons for such determination, of 
        whether the Administrator believes that the eligible 
        entity will be able to obtain the requisite funding 
        under paragraph (1) for such continuation grant.
          (6) Waiver of non-federal share.--
                  (A) In general.--Upon request by an eligible 
                entity, and in accordance with this paragraph, 
                the Administrator may waive, in whole or in 
                part, the requirement to obtain non-Federal 
                matching funds for a grant awarded under this 
                section for the eligible entity for a one-year 
                term of the grant. The Administrator may not 
                issue such a waiver for more than a total of 2 
                consecutive one-year terms.
                  (B) Considerations.--In determining whether 
                to issue a waiver under this paragraph, the 
                Administrator shall consider--
                          (i) the economic conditions affecting 
                        the eligible entity;
                          (ii) the demonstrated ability of the 
                        eligible entity to raise non-Federal 
                        funds; and
                          (iii) the performance of the eligible 
                        entity under the initial grant.
                  (C) Limitation.--The Administrator may not 
                issue a waiver under this paragraph if the 
                Administrator determines that granting the 
                waiver would undermine the credibility of the 
                Women's Business Center Program.
          (7) Excess non-federal dollars.--The amount of non-
        Federal dollars obtained by an eligible entity that is 
        above the amount that is required to be obtained by the 
        eligible entity under this subsection shall not be 
        subject to the requirements of part 200 of title 2, 
        Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor thereto, 
        if such amount of non-Federal dollars--
                  (A) is not used as matching funds for 
                purposes of implementing the Women's Business 
                Center Program; and
                  (B) was not obtained using funds from the 
                Women's Business Center Program.
          (8) Carryover.--Excess non-Federal dollars described 
        in paragraph (7) may be used to satisfy the matching 
        funds requirement under paragraph (1) for the 
        subsequent one-year grant term, if applicable, except 
        that such amounts shall be subject to the requirements 
        of part 200 of title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, or 
        any successor thereto.
  (f) Other Requirements.--
          (1) Separation of funds.--An eligible entity shall--
                  (A) operate a women's business center under 
                this section separately from other projects, if 
                any, of the eligible entity; and
                  (B) separately maintain and account for any 
                grants received under this section.
          (2) Examination of eligible entities.--
                  (A) Required site visit.--Before receiving an 
                initial grant under this section, each 
                applicant shall have a site visit by an 
                employee of the Administration, in order to 
                ensure that the applicant has sufficient 
                resources to provide the services for which the 
                grant is being provided.
                  (B) Annual review.--An employee of the 
                Administration shall--
                          (i) conduct an annual programmatic 
                        and financial examination of each 
                        eligible entity, as described in 
                        subsection (g); and
                          (ii) provide the results of such 
                        examination to the eligible entity.
          (3) Remediation of problems.--
                  (A) Plan of action.--If an examination of an 
                eligible entity conducted under paragraph 
                (2)(B) identifies any problems, the eligible 
                entity shall, within 45 calendar days of 
                receiving a copy of the results of such 
                examination, provide the Assistant 
                Administrator with a plan of action, including 
                specific milestones, for correcting such 
                problems.
                  (B) Plan of action review by the assistant 
                administrator.--The Assistant Administrator 
                shall review each plan of action submitted 
                under subparagraph (A) within 30 calendar days 
                of receiving such plan. If the Assistant 
                Administrator determines that such plan--
                          (i) will bring the eligible entity 
                        into compliance with all the terms of 
                        the grant agreement, the Assistant 
                        Administrator shall approve such plan; 
                        or
                          (ii) is inadequate to remedy the 
                        problems identified in the annual 
                        examination to which the plan of action 
                        relates, the Assistant Administrator 
                        shall set forth such reasons in writing 
                        and provide such determination to the 
                        eligible entity within 15 calendar days 
                        of such determination.
                  (C) Amendment to plan of action.--An eligible 
                entity receiving a determination under 
                subparagraph (B)(ii) shall have 30 calendar 
                days from the receipt of the determination to 
                amend the plan of action to satisfy the 
                problems identified by the Assistant 
                Administrator and resubmit such plan to the 
                Assistant Administrator.
                  (D) Amended plan review by the assistant 
                administrator.--Within 15 calendar days of the 
                receipt of an amended plan of action under 
                subparagraph (C), the Assistant Administrator 
                shall either approve or reject such plan and 
                provide such approval or rejection in writing 
                to the eligible entity.
                  (E) Appeal of assistant administrator 
                determination.--
                          (i) In general.--If the Assistant 
                        Administrator rejects an amended plan 
                        under subparagraph (D), the eligible 
                        entity shall have the opportunity to 
                        appeal such decision to the 
                        Administrator, who may delegate such 
                        appeal to an appropriate officer of the 
                        Administration.
                          (ii) Opportunity for explanation.--
                        Any appeal described under clause (i) 
                        shall provide an opportunity for the 
                        eligible entity to provide, in writing, 
                        an explanation of why the eligible 
                        entity's amended plan remedies the 
                        problems identified in the annual 
                        examination conducted under paragraph 
                        (2)(B).
                          (iii) Notice of determination.--The 
                        Administrator shall provide to the 
                        eligible entity a determination of the 
                        appeal, in writing, not later than 15 
                        calendar days after the eligible entity 
                        files an appeal under this 
                        subparagraph.
                          (iv) Effect of failure to act.--If 
                        the Administrator fails to act on an 
                        appeal made under this subparagraph 
                        within the 15-day period specified 
                        under clause (iii), the eligible 
                        entity's amended plan of action 
                        submitted under subparagraph (C) shall 
                        be deemed to be approved.
          (4) Termination of grant.--
                  (A) In general.--The Administrator shall 
                terminate a grant to an eligible entity under 
                this section if the eligible entity fails to 
                comply with--
                          (i) a plan of action approved by the 
                        Assistant Administrator under paragraph 
                        (3)(B)(i); or
                          (ii) an amended plan of action 
                        approved by the Assistant Administrator 
                        under paragraph (3)(D) or approved on 
                        appeal under paragraph (3)(E).
                  (B) Appeal of termination.--An eligible 
                entity shall have the opportunity to challenge 
                the termination of a grant under subparagraph 
                (A) on the record and after an opportunity for 
                a hearing.
                  (C) Final agency action.--A determination 
                made pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall be 
                considered final agency action for the purposes 
                of chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code.
          (5) Consultation with majority women's business 
        center association.--If a majority of women's business 
        centers that are operating pursuant to agreements with 
        the Administration are members of an individual Women's 
        Business Center Association, the Administrator shall--
                  (A) recognize the existence and activities of 
                such Association; and
                  (B) consult with the Association on, and 
                negotiate with the Association in the 
                development of documents with respect to--
                          (i) announcing the annual scope of 
                        activities pursuant to this section;
                          (ii) requesting proposals to deliver 
                        assistance as provided in this section; 
                        and
                          (iii) governing the general 
                        operations and administration of 
                        women's business centers, specifically 
                        including the development of 
                        regulations and a uniform negotiated 
                        cooperative agreement for use on an 
                        annual basis when entering into 
                        individual negotiated agreements with 
                        women's business centers.
  (g) Program Examination.--
          (1) In general.--The Administration shall--
                  (A) develop and implement an annual 
                programmatic and financial examination of each 
                eligible entity receiving a grant under this 
                section, under which each such eligible entity 
                shall provide to the Administration--
                          (i) an itemized cost breakdown of 
                        actual expenditures for costs incurred 
                        during the preceding year; and
                          (ii) documentation regarding the 
                        amount of matching assistance from non-
                        Federal sources obtained and expended 
                        by the eligible entity during the 
                        preceding year in order to meet the 
                        requirements of subsection (e) and, 
                        with respect to any in-kind 
                        contributions described in subsection 
                        (e)(2) that were used to satisfy the 
                        requirements of subsection (e), 
                        verification of the existence and 
                        valuation of those contributions; and
                  (B) analyze the results of each such 
                examination and, based on that analysis, make a 
                determination regarding the programmatic and 
                financial viability of each women's business 
                center operated by the eligible entity.
          (2) Conditions for continued funding.--In determining 
        whether to award a continuation grant to an eligible 
        entity, the Administrator--
                  (A) shall consider the results of the most 
                recent examination of the eligible entity under 
                paragraph (1);
                  (B) shall determine if--
                          (i) the eligible entity has failed to 
                        provide, or provided inadequate, 
                        information under paragraph (1)(A); or
                          (ii) the eligible entity has failed 
                        to provide any information required to 
                        be provided by the women's business 
                        center for purposes of the management 
                        report under subsection (m)(1), or the 
                        information provided by the center is 
                        inadequate; and
                  (C) shall consider the accreditation status 
                as described in subsection (k)(4).
  (h) Notice and Comment Required.--The Administrator may only 
make a change to the standards by which an eligible entity 
obtains or maintains grants under this section, the standards 
for accreditation, or any other requirement for the operation 
of a women's business center if the Administrator first 
provides notice and the opportunity for public comment, as set 
forth in section 553(b) of title 5, United States Code, without 
regard to any exceptions provided for under such section.
  (i) Contract Authority.--
          (1) Eligible entity.--An eligible entity that 
        receives a grant under this section may enter into a 
        contract with a Federal department or agency to provide 
        specific assistance to small business concerns owned 
        and controlled by women and other underserved small 
        business concerns, if performance of such a contract 
        does not hinder the ability of the eligible entity to 
        carry out the terms of a grant received under this 
        section.
          (2) Administrator.--The authority of the 
        Administrator to enter into contracts shall be in 
        effect for each fiscal year only to the extent and in 
        the amounts as are provided in advance in 
        appropriations Acts. After the Administrator has 
        entered into a contract, either as a grant or a 
        cooperative agreement, with any applicant under this 
        section, the Administrator shall not suspend, 
        terminate, or fail to renew or extend any such contract 
        unless the Administrator provides the applicant with 
        written notification setting forth the reasons 
        therefore and affords the applicant an opportunity for 
        a hearing, appeal, or other administrative proceeding 
        under chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code.
  (j) Privacy Requirements.--
          (1) In general.--A women's business center may not 
        disclose the name, address, or telephone number of any 
        individual or small business concern receiving 
        assistance under this section without the consent of 
        such individual or small business concern, unless--
                  (A) the Administrator orders such disclosure 
                after the Administrator is ordered to make such 
                a disclosure by a court in any civil or 
                criminal enforcement action initiated by a 
                Federal or State agency; or
                  (B) the Administrator considers such a 
                disclosure to be necessary for the purpose of 
                conducting a financial audit of a women's 
                business center, except that such a disclosure 
                shall be limited to the information necessary 
                for such audit.
          (2) Administration use of information.--This 
        subsection shall not--
                  (A) restrict Administration access to women's 
                business center data; or
                  (B) prevent the Administration from using 
                information about individuals who use women's 
                business centers to conduct surveys of such 
                individuals.
          (3) Regulations.--The Administrator shall issue 
        regulations to establish standards for disclosures for 
        purposes of a financial audit described under paragraph 
        (1)(B).
  (k) Office of Women's Business Ownership.--
          (1) Establishment.--There is established within the 
        Administration an Office of Women's Business Ownership, 
        which shall be responsible for the administration of 
        the Administration's programs for the development of 
        women's business enterprises (as defined in section 408 
        of the Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988). The 
        Office of Women's Business Ownership shall be 
        administered by an Assistant Administrator, who shall 
        be appointed by the Administrator.
          (2) Assistant administrator of the office of women's 
        business ownership.--
                  (A) Qualification.--The position of Assistant 
                Administrator shall be a Senior Executive 
                Service position under section 3132(a)(2) of 
                title 5, United States Code. The Assistant 
                Administrator shall serve as a noncareer 
                appointee (as defined in section 3132(a)(7) of 
                that title).
                  (B) Duties.--The Assistant Administrator 
                shall administer the programs and services of 
                the Office of Women's Business Ownership and 
                perform the following functions:
                          (i) Recommend the annual 
                        administrative and program budgets of 
                        the Office and eligible entities 
                        receiving a grant under the Women's 
                        Business Center Program.
                          (ii) Review the annual budgets 
                        submitted by each eligible entity 
                        receiving a grant under the Women's 
                        Business Center Program.
                          (iii) Collaborate with other Federal 
                        departments and agencies, State and 
                        local governments, not-for-profit 
                        organizations, and for-profit 
                        organizations to maximize utilization 
                        of taxpayer dollars and reduce (or 
                        eliminate) any duplication among the 
                        programs overseen by the Office of 
                        Women's Business Ownership and those of 
                        other entities that provide similar 
                        services to women entrepreneurs.
                          (iv) Maintain a clearinghouse to 
                        provide for the dissemination and 
                        exchange of information between women's 
                        business centers.
                          (v) Serve as the vice chairperson of 
                        the Interagency Committee on Women's 
                        Business Enterprise and as the liaison 
                        for the National Women's Business 
                        Council.
          (3) Mission.--The mission of the Office of Women's 
        Business Ownership shall be to assist women 
        entrepreneurs to start, grow, and compete in global 
        markets by providing quality support with access to 
        capital, access to markets, job creation, growth, and 
        counseling by--
                  (A) fostering participation of women 
                entrepreneurs in the economy by overseeing a 
                network of women's business centers throughout 
                States and territories;
                  (B) creating public-private partnerships to 
                support women entrepreneurs and conduct 
                outreach and education to small business 
                concerns owned and controlled by women; and
                  (C) working with other programs of the 
                Administrator to--
                          (i) ensure women are well-represented 
                        in those programs and being served by 
                        those programs; and
                          (ii) identify gaps where 
                        participation by women in those 
                        programs could be increased.
          (4) Accreditation program.--
                  (A) Establishment.--Not later than 270 days 
                after the date of enactment of this paragraph, 
                the Administrator shall publish standards for a 
                program to accredit eligible entities that 
                receive a grant under this section.
                  (B) Public comment; transition.--Before 
                publishing the standards under subparagraph 
                (A), the Administrator--
                          (i) shall provide a period of not 
                        less than 60 days for public comment on 
                        such standards; and
                          (ii) may not terminate a grant under 
                        this section absent evidence of fraud 
                        or other criminal misconduct by the 
                        recipient.
                  (C) Contracting authority.--The Administrator 
                may provide financial support, by contract or 
                otherwise, to a Women's Business Center 
                Association to provide assistance in 
                establishing the standards required under 
                subparagraph (A) or for carrying out an 
                accreditation program pursuant to such 
                standards.
          (5) Continuation grant considerations.--
                  (A) In general.--In determining whether to 
                award a continuation grant under this section, 
                the Administrator shall consider the results of 
                the annual programmatic and financial 
                examination conducted under subsection (g) and 
                the accreditation program.
                  (B) Accreditation requirement.--After the end 
                of the 2-year period beginning on the date of 
                enactment of this subsection, the 
                Administration may not award a continuation 
                grant under this section unless the applicable 
                eligible entity has been approved under the 
                accreditation program conducted pursuant to 
                this subsection, except that the Assistant 
                Administrator for the Office of Women's 
                Business Ownership may waive such accreditation 
                requirement, in the discretion of the Assistant 
                Administrator, upon a showing that the eligible 
                entity is making a good faith effort to obtain 
                accreditation.
          (6) Annual conference.--Each women's business center 
        shall participate in annual professional development at 
        an annual conference facilitated by a Women's Business 
        Center Association.
  (l) Notification Requirements Under the Women's Business 
Center Program.--The Administrator shall provide the following:
          (1) A public announcement of any opportunity to be 
        awarded grants under this section, to include the 
        selection criteria under subsection (d) and any 
        applicable regulations.
          (2) To any applicant for a grant under this section 
        that failed to obtain such a grant, an opportunity to 
        debrief with the Administrator to review the reasons 
        for the applicant's failure.
          (3) To an eligible entity that receives an initial 
        grant under this section, if a site visit or review of 
        the eligible entity is carried out by an officer or 
        employee of the Administration (other than the 
        Inspector General), a copy of the site visit report or 
        evaluation, as applicable, within 30 calendar days of 
        the completion of such visit or evaluation.
  (m) Annual Management Report.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator shall prepare and 
        submit to the Committee on Small Business of the House 
        of Representatives and the Committee on Small Business 
        and Entrepreneurship of the Senate an annual report on 
        the effectiveness of women's business centers operated 
        through a grant awarded under this section.
          (2) Contents.--Each report submitted under paragraph 
        (1) shall include--
                  (A) information concerning, with respect to 
                each women's business center established 
                pursuant to a grant awarded under this section, 
                the most recent analysis of the annual 
                programmatic and financial examination of the 
                applicable eligible entity, as required under 
                subsection (g)(1)(B), and the subsequent 
                determination made by the Administration under 
                that subsection;
                  (B) the number of persons advised and trained 
                through the Women's Business Center Program;
                  (C) the total number of hours of advising and 
                training through the Program;
                  (D) the demographics of Program participants 
                to include gender, race, and age of each such 
                participant;
                  (E) the number of Program participants who 
                are veterans;
                  (F) the number of new businesses started by 
                participants in the Program;
                  (G) to the extent practicable, the number of 
                jobs supported, created or retained with 
                assistance from women's business centers;
                  (H) the amount of capital secured by 
                participants in the Program, including through 
                loans and equity investment;
                  (I) the number of participants in the Program 
                receiving financial assistance, including the 
                type and dollar amount, under the loan programs 
                of the Administration;
                  (J) an estimate of gross receipts, including 
                to the extent practicable a description of any 
                change in revenue of small business concerns 
                assisted through the Program;
                  (K) to the maximum extent practicable, 
                increases or decreases in revenues for the 
                assisted small business concerns;
                  (L) the number of referrals made to other 
                resources and programs of the Administration;
                  (M) the results of satisfaction surveys of 
                participants, including a summary of any 
                comments received from such participants; and
                  (N) any recommendations by the Administrator 
                to improve the delivery of services by women's 
                business centers.
  (n) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Administration to carry out this 
        section, to remain available until expended, 
        $31,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2023.
          (2) Use of amounts.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), amounts made available under 
                this subsection for fiscal year 2020, and each 
                fiscal year thereafter, may only be used for 
                grant awards and may not be used for costs 
                incurred by the Administration in connection 
                with the management and administration of the 
                program under this section.
                  (B) Exceptions.--Of the amount made available 
                under this subsection for a fiscal year, the 
                following amounts shall be available for costs 
                incurred by the Administration in connection 
                with the management and administration of the 
                program under this section:
                          (i) For the first fiscal year 
                        beginning after the date of the 
                        enactment of this subparagraph, 2.65 
                        percent.
                          (ii) For the second fiscal year 
                        beginning after the date of the 
                        enactment of this subparagraph and each 
                        fiscal year thereafter through fiscal 
                        year 2023, 2.5 percent.
          (3) Expedited acquisition.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, the Administrator may use such 
        expedited acquisition methods as the Administrator 
        determines to be appropriate to carry out this section, 
        except that the Administrator shall ensure that all 
        small business sources are provided a reasonable 
        opportunity to submit proposals.
          (4) Accreditation and annual conference.--Not less 
        than $500,000 of the amounts appropriated pursuant to 
        paragraph (1) for a fiscal year shall be available for 
        purposes of carrying out subsection (k), of which no 
        less than $50,000 shall be available to support an 
        annual conference described under subsection (k)(6).

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