VA officials toughen small business rules

A new rule defines the eligibility requirements for businesses to get verified status as a veteran-owned small business

Veterans Affairs Department officials have finalized the eligibility requirements for businesses to get a verified status as a veteran-owned small business, which entitles them to compete for certain set-aside contracts. A rule published in the Feb. 8 Federal Register explains the requirements and examination procedures.

Under the new rule, officials from the Center for Veterans Enterprise, an office in the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, have the authority to verify any information given by a business as part of the application process to become a recognized VOSB. The officials can also make on-site checks, the rule states.


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CVE may even examine a company whenever it receives credible information that calls the company’s eligibility as a VOSB into question, according to the rule.

The rule requires an eligible owner have only one business in the program at a time and the owner must work full-time in the business, the notice states.

“VA has determined that annual examinations are necessary to ensure the integrity of the verification program,” officials wrote in the notice. The annual certification is consistent with other recertification standards in the Central Contractor Registry.

The Government Accountability Office has revealed numerous attempts to scam the government out of money by posing as a fake small business. At least 10 fake service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses swindled roughly $100 million from the Small Business Administration’s set-aside contracts, GAO testified in November.

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