SDVOSBs and VOSBs will only be required to obtain reverification every three years under an interim final rule adopted yesterday by the VA.
The VA’s new rule replaces the prior rule, which required reverification every two years. The purpose of the change? To “reduce the administrative burden on SDVOSB/VOSBs regarding participation in VA acquisition set asides for these types of firms.”
The VA is proposing a major overhaul to its SDVOSB program regulations–including the rules governing ownership and control.
In a proposed rule released today, the VA is seeking to “find an appropriate balance between preventing fraud in the Veterans First Contracting Program and providing a process that would make it easier for more VOSBs to become verified.” And while the proposal isn’t perfect, it looks like a step in the right direction.
The VA CVE appears to have survived a Congressional effort to strip the CVE of its verification function.
In May, the House of Representatives included a provision in the 2015 NDAA that would have required the CVE to transfer SDVOSB verification to the SBA. But after negotiations with the Senate, the House passed a new version of the 2015 NDAA last week–and the new version omits the verification transfer provision.
My friend Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition has launched GovConChat, which Guy described as a “candid and informative conversation with movers, shakers and thought-leaders from around the federal contracting community.”
Earlier this week, I joined Guy for a GovConChat segment. We discussed several major changes that could be implemented as a result of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, as well as a recent court case holding that an offeror did not qualify for a GSA Schedule task order when the offeror’s affiliate (but not the offeror itself) held a GSA Schedule contract. You can listed to our entire chat by following this link.
GovConChat is a great new resource to help contractors obtain perspectives from across the industry. Go check it out, and let me know if there is a particular blog post–or other government contracts legal issue–that you would like to hear me discuss in a future segment.
SDVOSBs—and basic fairness and common sense—were big winners in a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In its decision, the Court held that the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation violated the law when it disqualified a SDVOSB, without giving the SDVOSB the opportunity to contest the reasons for the disqualification. In an opinion reminiscent of last year’s landmark Miles Construction case, the Court then held that the CVE’s substantive reasons for the disqualification were arbitrary and unreasonable.
Moving SDVOSB verification from the VA to the SBA would save approximately $5 million annually, according to a recent cost estimate issued by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
The CBO concludes that implementing the Improving Opportunities for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Act of 2013 would save money because the SBA would be able to take advantage of systems already in place for other certification programs. The CBO estimate may reignite debate over the potential transfer of the SDVOSB verification program from the VA to the SBA.
The VA failed to verify the accuracy of a contractor’s representation that it was a veteran-owned small business, according to a new report issued by the VA’s Office of Inspector General.
According to the VA OIG, the VA failed to verify the claim of Westar Development Company, LLC to be a VOSB–and “[t]he evidence does not support a finding that Westar is or ever has been a Veteran-Owned Small Business.” The VA’s failure to verify Westar’s VOSB status is just one of many serious flaws identified by the VA OIG in its audit of the award of a major VA lease to Westar.