VA Seeks Public Comment on SDVOSB Verification Rules

The VA is seeking public comment on its VOSB and SDVOSB verification regulations in an effort to “improve the regulations to provide greater clarity, to streamline the program, and to encourage more VOSBs to apply for verification.”

As part of the public comment process, the VA is inviting the public to weigh in on previously-suggested changes, as well as answer specific questions about ways the VA might improve its verification rules.

In a Federal Register notice published yesterday, the VA seeks public comment on a number of questions regarding the verification process, including:

  • What might be changed to improve the clarity of the regulations?
  • Should more “bright lines” be drawn to clearly differentiate compliant and non-compliant companies?
  • Should VA develop a list that would “clearly delineate what constitutes ownership and control and what constitutes lack of ownership and control?”
  • How could the verification process be amended to improve efficiency?
  • What additional training tools or assistance might be offered to provide more clarity?
  • Would a hotline to report suspected ineligible SDVOSBs/VOSBs be a useful tool?

I commend the VA’s effort to improve its much-criticized verification process.  Having worked with many SDVOSB clients to address verification issues, I plan to submit comments of my own to the VA.  I will do my best to refrain from mean-spirited comments like  “efficiency could be improved by performing reconsiderations in fewer than 128 days.”  (To be fair, the new pre-determination findings program hopefully will help address that glaring problem).

If you have had difficulties with the VA SDVOSB verification rules or process (and a lot of folks have), this is a chance to make your voice heard.  Public comments are due by July 12, 2013 and instructions for submitting them are contained in the Federal Register notice.

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