Vets could get edge on no-bid contracts at VA

Bill would require VA to award sole-source contracts to veteran-owned small businesses

A new bill could intensify turf battles over preferences for certain types of small businesses.

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), a colonel in the Army Reserves and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, introduced legislation on July 15 that would require the Veterans Affairs Department to give priority to veteran-owned small businesses when outsourcing work with no competition.

The three-page bill would change a “may” to a “shall” and put veterans at the top of the list when VA's contracting officers intend to award a sole-source contract. Also, veterans who own more than one company would be able to keep all their businesses in the VA’s database of veteran business owners, according to the legislation.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee has yet to consider the bill.

The legislation comes as the Obama administration and the Government Accountability Office are in a standoff over the difference between “may” and “shall” in law. As GAO sees it, small businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones have priority over all other types of small businesses, such as those owned by service-disabled veterans and firms in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program (see "Administration, GAO clash in turf war").

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

 Top 100 Promo 2016
contracts DB