(Washington, DC — SDVOSB News Services, November 27, 2012) — One of the recent cases against the Veterans Administration (VA) for not adhering to PL 109-461, which mandates that all VA contracting opportunities be set-aside for SDVOSB, was adjudicated yesterday in favor of the VA. The case was decided by Judge Firestone in the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.
According to court transcripts obtained by VetLikeMe, Judge Firestone ruled against SDVOSB on every count, including 109-461, indicating that the VA’s policy of setting contracting goals for SDVOSB was sufficient to comply with PL 109-461, and that market research to determine if two qualified SDVOSB could meet the terms of the solicitation is unnecessary.
This ruling now sets contractors on the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) above companies certified as SDVOSB. The Secretaries’ established goals (for SDVOSB contracts) shall be sufficient to comply with the mandates of PL 109-461, according to the ruling.
“Plaintiff’s protest centers on whether, under § 8127(d) of the 2006 Act, VA is required to conduct market research to determine if VA procurements should be set aside for SDVOSBs or VOSBs before VA acquires supplies and services using the FSS. Section 8127 of the 2006 Act reads, in relevant part:
Contracting goals.– (1) In order to increase contracting opportunities for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities, the Secretary shall–
…(B) establish a goal for each fiscal year for participation in Department contracts (including subcontracts) by small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities…
The goal for a fiscal year for participation … shall be determined by the Secretary…”
This decision is a major setback for SDVOSB, coming on the heels of dozens of sustained bid protests by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Attorneys within the SDVOSB community indicated that the case would be handed up for re-consideration or appeal.