SDVOSBs—and basic fairness and common sense—were big winners in a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In its decision, the Court held that the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) violated the law when it disqualified a SDVOSB, without giving the SDVOSB the opportunity to contest the reasons for the disqualification. In a decision reminiscent of last year’s landmark Miles Construction case, the Court then held that the CVE’s substantive reasons for the disqualification were arbitrary and unreasonable.
In AmBuild Company, LLC v. United States, No. 14-786C (Oct. 10, 2014), AmBuild was the apparent lowest-cost bidder on a VA SDVOSB set-aside solicitation. The second-lowest bidder, Welch Construction Inc., filed a protest challenging AmBuild’s SDVOSB status. Welch contended that AmBuild was not controlled by a service-disabled veteran and that AmBuild exceeded the applicable size standard.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, which has jurisdiction over size issues, reviewed Welch’s small business allegation and determined it to be unfounded. The CVE proceeded to separately analyze Welch’s allegation regarding SDV control.