by Hardy Stone
We all know about this Supreme Ct ruling in June: http://vetlikeme.org/victory-sdvosbs-win-in-kingdomware-supreme-court-decision/
It didn’t take VA very long to defy a unanimous Supreme Court ruling. VetLikeMe submitted a FOIA request for awards to non-verified VOSB companies. According to VA’s FOIA response office, since June 16, 2016 through about a month ago, the VA had more than 3,500 contract awards of more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold to non-CVE verified companies.
Not included in this 3,500 are all of the Micro Purchases to companies such as Office Depot; the numerous Simplified Acquisitions and, as the piece de resistance, awards using Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ contracts) where the SDVOSBs are not required to be verified. The following article comments on our FOIA request and use of credit cards. In short, the VA has for years violated PL 109-461 and is now ignoring the Supreme Court. The VA continues to ignore the law and do what is best for the Department of Veterans Affairs, not the veterans they are mandated to support.
The SCOTUS decision stated that 109-461 applied to all contracts, including micro-purchases — (purchases of $3000 or less). Micro-purchases are the lifeblood of many, many businesses run by veterans. The VA continues to purchase from the General Services Administration and the Federal Supply Schedule. Mega outlets, such as Home Depot and Staples are still used by VA for micro-purchases.
Another defiance of SCOTUS is the use of credit cards by VA contracting officers. The standard retail value of government credit card is $3000. VA contracting officers routinely make charge purchases of $2990 — which is legal — but these purchases are still contracts, which is counter to the SCOTUS ruling June 15, 2016.
In other words, your Veterans Administration is ignoring the proper interpretations of statute…What a huge revelation!
According to the VA, Credit Cards purchases are not considered contracts. The heart of the SCOTUS ruling was that all purchases are contracts.
Based on this defiance of the SCOTUS decision, VetLikeMe teamed with the Veterans Entrepreneurship Task Force (VET-Force) and filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the VA on October 15. Procurement issues that were mandated by SCOTUS this summer are vital realities to many VOSB. The FOIA requested:
- Form 2268 and market research or other documents approving or authorizing contracting actions since June 16, 2016 that were:
o Competitively awarded to non-CVE verified companies with an award amount exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold;
o new Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) and Bulk Purchase Agreement (BPA) awards to non-CVE verified companies;
o awards to non-CVE verified companies for obligated amounts of greater than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold where the Notice to Proceed was issued after June 16, 2016;
o for non-competitive awards made under FAR Part 6.302, the rationale providing justification for the non-competitive acquisition;
o for non-competitive awards made under other than FAR Part 6.302, the approval documents citing the statutory and/or regulatory basis for the award.
VET-Force and VetLikeMe are anticipating delivery of these VA procurement records shortly, but then what? We know the VA has not recognized PL 109-461 for years, if ever. What makes us think the VA will adhere to a decision by the Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States?
Please stay tuned, we’ll have a new VA Secretary soon. Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL) has been floated as Bob McDonald’s replacement. Surely the former Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee knows about Kingdomware.
Will a Trump administration help our cause? We know he’s a businessman, which is why – some say – he was elected. He’s also said repeatedly — “We must take care of our vets.”
This may be a pivotal stretch of time for veteran owned business.
But we also thought Kingdomware was pivotal…