by Walter Cotton III
Allow me to open by being direct.
I have uncovered a viable and current effort underway to eliminate the Vets-First Advantage.
By now this type of plot truly shouldn’t be news to you.
What should make today’s news cycle is the fact that we have identified a number of people employed ‘in Acquisition’ by the Department of Veterans Affairs that are actively working to see the Vets-First Contracting advantage repealed.
And the unfortunate caveat to the above statement is the fact that some in Senior Leadership roles (i.e., inside & outside of VA..) are complicit contributors to the problem.
The real dilemma here is the fact that the majority of the offenders, who admittedly may not actively be engaged in the Vets-First Elimination Plot**, know that their coworkers are operating outside of the boundaries of existing Law and Policy. And they are doing little if anything to arrest the problem.
More importantly, most Veteran Owned Small Businesses are also openly mute on these issues.
Yah sure; we talk to one another about what VA did to us here or there. And we praise the Kingdomware outcome! But truth be told… You fear becoming the next Kingdomware-like poster-child, as you don’t want to get your company placed on “The List (DUN DUN DUUUUUN!!!).”
Moreover, both inside & outside of VA, there are many who would aggressively argue the fact that the vast majority of the people within VA’s acquisition system diligently support the Vets-First Program.
Candidly I would be happy to take anyone of them on in a public conversation, and explain to them the merits of a ‘Constitutional Republic’, as they often seem to be operating from a mindset that our Government’s Contracting Rules are based on a Democratic Model.
Which simply isn’t the case…
Steven Koprince’s most recent article, on VA’s planned policy change, shows a perfect example of what I am pointing to here (See: `VA Class Deviation Restricts SDVOSB Nonmanufacturers‘). And as I see it; this Class Deviation effort is nothing short of a transparent action by VA that clearly supports the Original Equipment Manufactures Lobbying efforts to not comply with the plain language of 38 U.S.C. 8127.
Yet what’s most disheartening for me is the fact that I don’t see any collective efforts from the Veteran Community to arrest this current trend. And I believe that unaltered history will show that this performance trajectory was the root causal factor that led to the end of the Vets-First advantage.
Right now; we still have the power needed to change this trajectory. And I simply want to point your attention to a better set of options for us Veterans, and our families.
The following short video will provide you an introduction to an action plan that I believe will ensure that we keep Vets-First available 4-Ever (See: https://youtu.be/ZoASuhZH9Zs)
**Stay tuned: to be explained in June by Cotton)