U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Will Benefit Veteran Owned Small Businesses
Veterans First Contracting Program to give preference to SDVOSBs and VOSBs
On June 16, 2016 the Supreme Court held that 38 U.S.C. 8127(d) applies to all contracts including Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) and orders placed against the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts. The Court also held the “rule of two” contracting procedures in section 8127(d) are not limited to those contracts necessary to fulfill the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affair’s goals.
As a result of the US Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a Memorandum on July 25th, 2016, changing procurement policies in a way that should benefit Veteran Owned and Service Disabled veteran Owned Businesses.
The Memorandum (available to view here) is effective immediately and spells out the various “Deviations” from the previous VAAR (Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation).
The VA will now require service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses to be listed as verified in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database to receive awards under the Veterans First Contracting Program.
Other significant changes will open much more contracting opportunities up to verified VOSB/SDVOSB contractors – Awards made using the multiple award schedules program of the GSA, including the VA Federal Supply Schedule Program, are competitive. When a set-aside is restricted to verified SDVOSBs or VOSBs according to the authorities of 819.7005 and 819.7006, such awards constitute full and open competition, The Memorandum also amends implementation of the Veterans First Contracting Program to include emphasizing attainment of the Secretary’s annual goals for SDVOSBs/VOSBs does not limit the applicability of the Veterans First Contracting Program. Additionally, VAAR part 819 details full implementation of the Veterans First Contracting Program to give preference to SDVOSBs and VOSBs for all VA contracts and contracts on behalf of VA.