VA watchdog’s investigation contradicted
Donovan Slack, USA TODAY
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general may have wrongly claimed in a report last year that one of the top procurement officials at the VA steered contracts worth millions of dollars to friends, according to the inspector general at the Treasury Department.
Eric Thorson, the Treasury inspector general, also implied in a letter Thursday to Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican who chairs the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, that the claims in the report issued by the office of acting VA Inspector General Richard Griffin were influenced by a dispute between a VA employee and the procurement executive, who now works at Treasury.
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Air Force Restores Eligibility to Controversial Contractor
The Air Force on Friday quietly ended its three-week suspension of the reverse-auction company FedBid, the contractor announced, removing a threat that the Vienna, Va., firm would face suspension and debarment.
On Jan. 29, the Air Force had moved to place FedBid on the Excluded Parties List System in reaction to a September 2014 Veterans Affairs Department inspector general report finding that Susan Taylor, deputy chief procurement officer of the Veterans Health Administration Procurement and Logistics Office, had a conflict of interest in promoting the work of FedBid and sought to discredit a VA official during the 2010-2013 period.
Provided by Maggie Bullard-Marshall:
Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Status Protests
This document adopts as a final rule, without change, the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2013. This document implements a portion of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to verify ownership and control of Veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs), including service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs), in order for these firms to participate inVA acquisitions set asides for SDVOSB/VOSBs. Specifically, VA amends its adjudication procedures for SDVOSB and VOSB status protests, to provide that VA’s Director, Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE), shall initially adjudicate SDVOSB and VOSB status protests, and to provide that protested businesses, if they are denied status, may appeal to VA’s Executive Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).
Our View: VA chief’s error not as important as doing his job
From Fayobserver.com (Fayetteville, NC)
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald is under fire for misstating his military service.
McDonald has apologized for saying he served in the Special Forces during a conversation with a homeless veteran. The secretary qualified as an Army Ranger, but never served as one. Nor did he serve in Special Forces. This seems to have been an honest factual gap in his shorthand account of his record. People do that in conversation every day.
VA’s ‘Choice’ Program Off to Slow Start
- Far fewer veterans than expected are taking advantage of a new law aimed at making it easier for them to get private health care and avoid the long waits that have plagued Department of Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide.
Only 27,000 veterans have made appointments for private medical care since the VA started mailing out “Choice Cards” in November, the VA said in a report to Congress this month.
Palin Demands Obama Put Veterans Ahead of Illegals
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ripped the Obama administration for putting the needs of illegal immigrants ahead of veterans who sacrificed to ensure the nation’s freedoms.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Palin referred to the Veterans Administration’s wait-list scandal and said, “we can’t wait for D.C. to fix their bureaucratic blunders.”
Palin demanded that veterans get vouchers to get treatment outside of the VA.
Fitzpatrick Amendment to Rail Infrastructure Bill Supports Veteran-Owned Businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) successfully added an amendment to rail infrastructure legislation which passed the House Wednesday that takes the first step toward leveling the playing field for veteran-owned businesses in federal contracting.
“The current pool of veteran-owned businesses is getting older – with recent census data showing that 75% of current veteran business owners were age 55 and over,” said Fitzpatrick speaking on the House floor. “We need to be thinking now about how to encourage the next generation of veterans – the more than 250,000 service members currently transitioning from military to civilian life – to take up the job-creating mantle of starting their own veteran-owned businesses.”
Veteran small business owners wanted
StreetShares, an innovative online platform that facilitates loans to small businesses through a marketplace of investors, has launched a Veteran Business Campaign specifically targeting veteran-owned small businesses.
FedBid still comes under fire even after suspension is lifted
By Christian Davenport March 19
FedBid, the Northern Virginia contractor with deep ties to the Washington establishment, came under fire during a congressional hearing Thursday, just weeks after the government lifted the firm’s suspension from receiving new federal contracts.