VA Updates, Expands, and Clarifies Its Verification Assistance Briefs

The VA and SBA have numerous regulations defining the eligibility requirements for participation in the veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small business programs. To help laypersons better understand these regulatory hurdles the VA publishes Verification Assistance Briefs. These “are resources to assist applicants in obtaining VA Verification for the Veterans First Contracting Program” and understand SBA’s ownership and control criteria. The VA recently updated all of its existing Briefs and added some new ones. Read on for an overview of the 26 Briefs and a more detailed look at some of the more notable ones.

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SDVOSB Start-Ups Continue to Face Obstacles to CVE Verification

Several years ago, we argued that VA’s rule, requiring a veteran to devote herself full time to an SDVOSB during normal working hours, unnecessarily handicapped SDVOSB start-ups seeking CVE verification. This same requirement–though now in a slightly different form–continues to impede new businesses from obtaining verification, a key credential for many SDVOSBs. Beyond that, CVE’s application of the managerial experience requirement also poses a potential hurdle for incipient SDVOSBs.

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CVE Verification Pointer: Remember to Provide Truthful Information

In government contracting—as in life—it’s important to be honest. And in our experience, most government contractors are honest. Where a contractor is dishonest or untruthful, it can face significant sanctions.

So it was in a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, in which the OHA considered the cancellation of an entity’s SDVOSB status. In CVE Appeal of Afily8 Government Solutions, LLC, SBA No. CVE-125-A (2019), the OHA affirmed the cancellation of Afily8’s SDVOSB verification based on concerns that Afily8 did not provide truthful information to the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation.

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SBA CVE Protests and Appeals: Coming October 1

The SBA will begin hearing protests and appeals related to inclusion in the VA’s SDVOSB/VOSB CVE database on October 1, 2018.

On March 30, the SBA published a final rule, which responded to public comments made on the proposed rule issued last year.  SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals will begin deciding these cases in the fall.

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SBA Proposes Rules For SDVOSB/VOSB CVE Protests & Appeals

The SBA has proposed rules to enable contractors to file protests with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals challenging the SDVOSB or VOSB status of a company included in the VA’s CVE VetBiz database.  The same set of proposed rules would allow a contractor to appeal to OHA if the VA denies the contractor’s application for inclusion in the CVE database, or cancels an existing verification.

The proposed rules, once finalized, will offer important new protections for SDVOSBs and VOSBs and are the first official step in implementing Congress’s mandate that the SBA and VA consolidate their SDVOSB eligibility requirements.

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