The VA has officially withdrawn its November 2015 proposal to overhaul its SDVOSB and VOSB regulations.
The VA’s action isn’t surprising, given that the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requires the VA to work with the SBA to prepare a consolidated set of SDVOSB regulations, which will then apply to both VA and non-VA procurements. What’s interesting, though, is that the VA doesn’t say that it’s withdrawing the 2015 proposal because of the 2017 NDAA, but rather because of numerous objections to the proposal–including objections from the SBA.
The SBA lacks authority to determine whether a company is an eligible service-disabled veteran-owned small business for purposes of a VA SDVOSB set-aside procurement.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that the SBA lacks such authority, which is reserved solely for the VA’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
I am back in Lawrence after a great trip to Washington, DC, where I spoke at the Association of Procurement Assistance Centers Fall Conference. My talk was originally supposed to focus on the November 9 oral arguments in the Kingdomware SDVOSB case, but that didn’t exactly go as planned. So in addition to an update on Kingdomware, I also discussed the VA’s proposed overhaul of its SDVOSB program regulations, as well as the latest news on the women-owned small business program.
It was great to see so many familiar faces and have the chance to talk to so many PTAC counselors. A big thank you to Becky Peterson, Chuck Spence, Chuck Schadl, Jason Porch, and the rest of the APTAC leadership for inviting me to speak, and thank you to all the PTAC-ers who got up bright and early to attend my 7:30 a.m. presentation. As always, you were a fantastic audience.
If you are a small business, you may be surprised at the many ways that your local PTAC can help you–usually free of charge. Visit the APTAC website to get started. As for me, I only have a couple days at home before I hit the road again, this time for the National Veterans Small Business Engagement in Pittsburgh. If you will be at NVSBE 2015, I hope you’ll check out my Learning Sessions.
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.