SMALL BUSINESS

VA boosts veteran-owned & service-disabled small business goals

Three years after a key Supreme Court ruling that set the stage, the Veterans Affairs Department is raising its goals for contracting with small businesses in the veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned categories.

The VA is seeking to award at least 17 percent of its total contract dollars to veteran-owned small businesses and 15 percent to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, according to a news release from earlier this month.

Both moves represent a 5-percent increase in both goals for VOSBs and SDVOSBs. In 2010, then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki established the 10-percent goal for VOSBs and 12 percent for SDVOSBs.

The VA spent $26.1 billion on procurements in fiscal year 2017. VOSBs were obligated $5.4 billion of that -- or 20.6 percent -- and SDVOSBs were awarded $5.1 billion -- or 19.5 percent.

This decision is a response to the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in a case brought forward by Kingdomware Technologies that mandated the “rule of two” for all procurements.

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court said the VA must set aside contracts for VOSBs or SDVOSBs if the agency finds two or more firms in those categories can do the work.

The VA must first consider VOSBs and SDVOSBs before mulling other small business program preferences.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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