Did your company file a request for reconsideration of a VA CVE SDVOSB verification denial? If so, be prepared to wait awhile–approximately 128 days, according to a recent VA CVE email.
The email, which was sent to a number of SDVOSBs and VOSBs (and kindly shared with me) indicates that the VA CVE is currently processing approximately 300 requests for reconsideration. As a result, the VA CVE says, the time frame to process a request for reconsideration is now more than double the regulatory goal of 60 days.
The email states:
The Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) is working hard to process all Requests for Reconsideration (R4R) submitted pursuant to 38 CFR § 74.13. There are currently approximately over 300 requests in process with CVE. CVE’s policy is to review the requests on a “first in first out” basis. CVE processing time is based upon the complexity of the issues, as well as upon the number of cases in the queue and availability of case analysts. The current average processing time is approximately 128 days. Each business owner (SDVOSB or VOSB) should expect the process period to be between 60 days and the current average processing time. CVE is making every effort to decrease this processing time subject to available resources and complexity of individual cases. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the R4R Process please submit the issue to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-303-3260.
The lengthy processing time means that a number of perfectly legitimate SDVOSBs are sitting on the sidelines, watching contracting opportunities pass by, while the VA CVE takes four months or more to process their requests for reconsideration. The worst part is that the VA CVE should be able to review many requests for reconsideration (like those making simple changes to a company’s operating agreement) in a matter of hours. Yet, even those companies must get in line–a very long line–in order to be verified.
Fortunately, changes are coming. The new pre-determination findings program, set to launch May 1, will allow firms with easily-correctable issues the opportunity to avoid the reconsideration process and be verified much more quickly. If it works as intended, the pre-determination findings program should significantly reduce the request for reconsideration backlog, and the corresponding 128-day wait.
Of course, for firms currently in the reconsideration process, the pre-determination findings program is “too little, too late.” For these firms, all that can be done is wait.