In a stunning development in the Kingdomware SDVOSB/VOSB Supreme Court case, the Government has abandoned the argument that the statutory preference for veteran-owned companies applies only if the VA has not met its SDVOSB or VOSB contracting goals.
Although this argument was hotly debated, it was successful both at the Court of Federal Claims and again at the Federal Circuit. But now, just weeks away from oral arguments, the Government’s Supreme Court brief jettisons the Government’s own previously successful argument in favor of an entirely different rationale for refusing to honor the statutory SDVOSB and VOSB preferences.
The last-minute, wholesale substitution of arguments doesn’t say much for the Government’s confidence in its case. And on the merits, the Government’s new argument is no better than the one it has abruptly abandoned.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the Kingdomware SDVOSB/VOSB case on November 9, 2015, according to the Supreme Court’s oral argument calendar.
I have filed an amicus brief on Kingdomware’s behalf, urging the Court to rule in favor of veteran-owned businesses. I plan to attend the oral argument on the morning of the 9th and will describe my takeaways on SmallGovCon later that day.
In Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court will answer a critical question: does the VA have to prioritize SDVOSBs and VOSBs in federal contracting?
As SmallGovCon readers know, I have been critical of the VA’s contention that it need not prioritize SDVOSBs and VOSBs. Now, I have gone a step further. Together with my colleagues at Koprince Law LLC, I have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to overturn the lower court’s decision and rule in favor of veterans.
Want to read our full amicus brief? Glad you asked–just click here.
The VA’s decision not to issue a SDVOSB set-aside was improper because the VA adopted an unreasonably narrow approach to determining whether two or more SDVOSBs were likely to submit proposals.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the VA’s narrow market research did not support its set-aside determination. And in so holding, the GAO reaffirmed its position that the VA must put “veterans first” in federal procurements.
Later this year, the Supreme Court will take up the case of Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States. The Court will decide whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was correct to find that the VA need not give SDVOSBs and VOSBs a contracting preference so long as the VA is meeting its SDVOSB and VOSB goals.
If you follow SmallGovCon, you know my position: I think the Federal Circuit’s ruling was fundamentally flawed. Last week, I spoke with Francis Rose of Federal News Radio about the case. Click here to listen to my interview with Francis, and be sure to tune in to In Depth With Francis Rose weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Federal News Radio.
Is the Department of Veterans Affairs required to prioritize service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (“SDVOSBs”) when it buys supplies and services? That, essentially, will be the question before the Supreme Court when it takes up the case of Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. vs. United States. On June 22, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Kingdomware will end a long-running battle between the VA and various SDVOSBs, which have accused the VA of creating loopholes to avoid a statutory contracting preference for veterans. Hopefully, the Court will get it right. As a matter of policy and law, the underlying decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is fundamentally flawed.
The government has accused a service-disabled veteran who was employed full-time as a U.S. Postal Service Carrier is accused of being a “rent-a-vet” used to obtain contracts for his brother’s company.
According to a Department of Justice press release, a grand jury has indicted both men, as well as a business partner for SDVOSB fraud–and all three face the potential of significant jail time.