By Jason Miller |
The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council and the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act are providing a constant stream of changes federal agencies and industry alike need to know about.
Here are three recent changes the federal community needs to know about:
Finally, one definition for veterans
Congress finally brought the hammer down on the Small Business Administration and the Veterans Affairs Department about the confusing and differing definitions of a service disabled veteran-owned small business.
In the 2017 NDAA, lawmakers told SBA and VA to implement regulations within six months to create a governmentwide description for service disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
“The Secretary [of VA] would continue to determine whether individuals are veterans or service-disabled veterans and would be responsible for verification of applicant firms,” the conference report stated. “Challenges to the status of a VOSB or SDVOSB based upon issues of ownership or control would be decided by the administrative judges at the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Small Business Administration. The committee notes this section would not affect the Department of Defense.”
The debate over whether SBA or VA decides if a company qualifies under this socio-economic status has been ongoing for at least five years.
In fact, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) introduced a bill in 2013 that would’ve given SBA full authority to determine status. SBA already has that authority for small and disadvantaged businesses as well as those owned by women and located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone).
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), chairman of the Small Business Committee, said in May when the Armed Services Committee included this provision in the bill that it would promote integrity and accountability in small business programs.
The provision in the NDAA says a service-disabled veteran-owned small business must be at least 51 percent owned and operated on a day-to-day basis by at least one qualified veteran. It also lets the veteran’s spouse retain socio-economic status if the service member was rated 100 percent disabled and died because of the disability.