Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
Shows & Panels
Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews on our daily show blogs.
Veterans group calls for legislative fix to VA contracting rule
Monday - 8/13/2012, 5:16am EDT
"Congress may need to move to synchronize the standards of control between VA and [the Small Business Administration]," said Rick Weidman, VVA's executive director for policy and government affairs, in an interview with Federal News Radio.
Weidman criticized a VA rule requiring that service-disabled veterans competing for SDVOSB contracts unconditionally control decision-making within their companies. He said SBA regulations allow more flexibility.
Richard Weidman, executive director for policy and government affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), chairman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, is crafting legislation to force VA to loosen its rule. Johnson said he favors SBA's process, although he did not say exactly how the bill would change the steps VA uses to verify SDVOSB program eligibility.
The unconditional control requirement creates a "bright line" and removes subjectivity from the process examiners use to decide whether a business qualifies for the service-disabled veteran set-aside program, said Thomas Leney, executive director of VA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, during in a recent subcommittee hearing.
"We have improved our quality control and become more aggressive in referring firms that we suspect are misrepresenting their status," said Leney in written testimony. "In fiscal 2011 we referred 25 firms to the Office of Inspector General for investigation as possible misrepresentation. So far in fiscal 2012, we have referred 59 firms."
Tom Leney, executive director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, VA
But some lawmakers and veterans groups believe VA is keeping legitimately qualified veterans from receiving contracts, saying no investor in his or her right mind would give the majority owner carte blanche control over the investment.
"You can take almost anything and absolutize it and make a muck of it. And that's really what the VA has done … in a way that makes no sense in terms of business," Weidman said.
He said statutory change is the only way to address the concerns.
"If we can ever make CVE work properly, then VET-Force and Vietnam Veterans of America and virtually all the other veterans organizations and military service organizations would be in favor of making it a governmentwide standard, if you will, but not at this point because it's driving our people out of business who are legitimate," he said.
VA is considering the possibility of improving its SDVOSB processes and is accepting suggestions for change, said agency spokeswoman Josephine Schuda.