Breaking: SBA Issues Veteran-Owned Certification Rules

The SBA has issued its draft rules on how it will go about certifying Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). Below, we highlight some of the main components of these rules. The changes stem from Congress’s requirement in the 2021 NDAA to to eliminate SDVOSB self-certification and adopt a government-wide SDVOSB certification requirement, while transferring control of the certification process from the VA to the SBA. For the most part, SBA has taken a simple approach, combining its existing rules on eligibility with much of the application procedures from VA. But the details do matter, and below we’ll walk through some of them.

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Keep Registrations in SAM Current to Avoid Loss of SDVOSB Verification

The decision in Bravo Federal Consulting, LLC, SBA No. CVE-213 (Dec. 1, 2021) is both an important reminder of the importance of keeping all database information up to date and a cautionary tale of the unfortunate consequences that can happen when you don’t. In that decision, SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied an appeal by Bravo Federal Consulting, LLC (Bravo). Bravo submitted a request to change its name, setting off a chain of events that ended in Bravo losing its verified status as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB). 

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SBA Updates Veteran Surviving Spouse Rule

A proposed rule from SBA will make changes to the SDVOSB rules. SBA has modified its rules allowing surviving spouses to continue owning Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses after the veteran owner has passed away. This should provide some help to spouses of disabled veterans. SBA has updated a few dollar thresholds as well.

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OHA: Broken Hyperlink Doesn’t Excuse Not Responding to CVE

In my last blog post I wrote about a contractor’s unsuccessful attempt to convince the GAO that its solicitation was improperly dismissed as being untimely because the State Department didn’t recognize its automatic “out of office” email reply response. It appears that federal agencies in general are unforgiving when it comes to a contractor’s reliance on electronic communications without follow-up.

In a recent case, the SBA Office of Hearing Appeals (OHA) rejected a contractor’s petition for reconsideration upholding the OHA’s appeal of a cancellation of  the contractor’s verified status as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses because it could not access a cancelation letter through a link provided by the VA.

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