The Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress are working to make it easier for veterans to take advantage of a special veterans-focused contracting program while also protecting it from abuse.
The VA released proposed amendments to its Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines, while Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), chairman of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, recently introduced a bill he called a “three-pronged approach” to reform how the government awards its contracts and ensure the program “operates effectively for our veterans.”
“Currently, veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB) face incredible challenges getting certified to participate in seeking and securing federal contracts under the program’s rules,” Coffman said in a statement. “With over 50,000 small businesses attempting to use congressionally established VOSB and SDVOSB contracting programs, it is critical that we protect our nation’s veterans seeking federal contracts from the VA and Small Business Administration.”
The bill, entitled the Improving Opportunities for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Act of 2015, would create an appeals process that lets a business owner take their case to the SBA’s office of hearings and appeals. The decision of the office would be considered the final word.