Thursday, January 25, 2018

VA looks to SBA for Future Vet-Owned SB Certification

From Lexology:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking which, in effect, (1) would shift the duties of certifying Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) as relates to Ownership and Control (O&C) from the VA to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); and (2) revises the regulations dealing with set-asides and sole source awards under the Veterans First Contracting Program. While subject to comment periods and final rulemakings, the big picture storyline is that this revised regulatory scheme, if passed, will shift much of the oversight on VOSBs from the VA to the SBA.

While the SBA oversees almost all small business concerns related to federal procurements, including the SDVOSB program, the VA has had its own veteran-owned business certification program, called the Vets First Verification Program. Arising out of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006 (PL 109-461), this program granted the VA with unique authorization to certify businesses as VOSBs and SDVOSBs as well as set-aside and issues sole source contracts to these entities for VA-specific procurements.

This was a program wholly independent of the SBA’s SDVOSB set-aside program, which covers agencies outside the VA for procurements. Traditionally, in contrast to the organized, detailed certification program that the VA has, in which it affirmatively certifies entities as VOSBs, the SBA’s SDVOSB program is a self-certifying program. Businesses would self-certify as being Service Disabled Veteran Owned (and Small) for reasons of pursuing contracts outside the VA. This remains, but now the VA is “transferring” some of its oversight to the SBA.

So What Does This Mean?

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