If you have not already heard the good news as yet. Allow me to be the first to tell you that Congress is sending S. 1094 to the President’s desk for signature.
This new law gives VA a viable mechanism through which it can modify the behavior of its poor performers, and more importantly eliminate those civil servants that are failing the mission.
You are going to learn more than any one person needs to know about the subcomponents and sections of this Law over the next few weeks. And therefore I will use this time to point your attention directly to the root of what this law means for us Veterans.
Although this Law is multidimensional in its potential benefit to him and her who has severed this Great Nation. I would like to use my sweet spot; Veteran Owned Small Business Contracting, to show exactly how far reaching this law truly is.
Before this Law, Contracting Officers and their Senior leadership could openly defy the plain language of laws like the Veterans Benefit Act of 2006 (‘VBA’).
They could do so with a simple memo that instructs the contracting community to disregard a GAO decision that found the Agency to be operating out of compliance with the Vets-First provisions of the VBA (e.g., Resulting In Kingdomware). Or by issuing a Class Deviation Memo, to the Nonmanufacturer Rule Waiver, that again clearly attempts to undermine the spirit and intent of P.L. 109-461.
And the Agency at large would be powerless to take real corrective action against its offenders. Moreover, the offenders’ colleague’s and subordinates’ would be bound by self-preservation to say and do nothing meaningful in opposition to what they know is wrong.
This New Law gives this captive group within VA’s Ranks, and the Contractors who support the mission, a viable avenue for actionable descent. And I am going on the record here, to offer the offenders this one and only opportunity:
- Immediately repeal & resend the Nonmanufacture Rule Waiver Class Deviation
- Go back to Industry, & its associations like MITA, and tell them that “You will More Than Just Follow The Law… Tell Them that They Specifically Should Disregard Your Assertion That They Don’t Need To Partner With VOSBs __ As You Were Wrong In Setting That Expectation With Them (B.T.W., We have witnesses who will testify and confirm the above…), and
- Never, and I mean never, subordinate a VOSB to any other Preference Category in contracting with the VA.
It’s a new day at the VA. And if I were working there… I would be redoubling my efforts, right-now, to ensure that my support of the mission was razor sharp, tiger tough and above expectation.
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