With July 4th around the corner, we wanted to remind everyone of the government contracting opportunities available to our nation’s veterans, including the SDVOSB Program. In this video, I cover how the SDVOSB Program has changed over time and how it works now:
If you are a veteran in need of assistance with government contracting matters, check out how we can help here.
Earlier this week, Steve updated SmallGovCon readers on a very important SDVOSB eligibility change: beginning October 1, the VA will begin using the SBA’s eligibility rules to verify SDVOSBs and VOSBs.
The SBA has now followed suit—in a final rule published today, the SBA has amended its eligibility rules for SDVOSBs. These rules provide important clarity into SDVOSB eligibility going forward.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important changes.
On May 21, 2018, the VA will suspend SDVOSB and VOSB applications for “approximately thirty (30)” days while the VA transitions to a new VIP interface.
According to a notice posted on the VA OSDBU website, the suspension will affect “both new applications and applications for re-verification.” However, the VA CVE “will continue processing previously submitted applications during the suspension.” The VA doesn’t beat around the bush: “any applicants (Veterans) that desire to have their cases begin the verification process before the suspension start date, should strongly consider case submission completion to VIP prior to May 21, 2018.”
The definition of a “service-disabled veteran-owned small business” would be standardized under a new bill introduced by Senators Angus King and Richard Burr.
The King-Burr bill, S.2334, could resolve a serious problem: under current law, the requirements to qualify as a SDVOSB vary (in some cases, significantly) depending on whether an acquisition falls under the VA’s SDVOSB rules or the SBA’s SDVOSB rules.
The King-Burr bill also directs the GAO to study whether it is practical to implement a Government-wide SDVOSB verification system.
On February 27, the VA CVE sent an email to companies listed in the VetBiz database, suggesting that all documentation submitted to the CVE may be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Many SDVOSBs and VOSBs were outraged–was the VA really stating that tax returns, payroll, bank signature cards, and other closely-guarded information would be made available to the public?
Now, after push back from SDVOSBs and VOSBs, the CVE has issued a press release clarifying that some documentation submitted to the CVE may be withheld under FOIA on a “case by case basis” and that the CVE will seek to limit the exposure of proprietary and personally identifiable information.
The press release is a good start, but in the wake of its misguided email, the CVE needs to do more to assure SDVOSBs and VOSBs that their proprietary information is safe in the government’s hands.