by VLM staff
VECTOR proves that Veterans can do it all.
For years, Veteran business stakeholders have argued that Veteran Owned Small Businesses, in fact all small businesses were capable of performing many, if not most of the Federal Government’s service contracts. With VECTOR, it has been the “big guys” who have settled the argument with a resounding “Vets can do it all!”
What is VECTOR?
VA’s VETERAN ENTERPRISE CONTRACTING FOR TRANSFORMATION AND OPERATIONAL READINESS (VECTOR) procurement will be the principal go-to IDIQ contract for VA non-IT professional services. The VA anticipates a large number of awards (10 or more) in each of six service groups. The solicitation will use NAICS 541611 which has a size standard of $15M. Of the 9,000 plus currently verified companies in CVE’s VIP database, more than 1,500 have registered in NAICS 541611. ( http://www.epipeline.com/mktng/nl-articles/naics-code-541611.html#link01 )
VECTOR’s innovative source selection
VECTOR has implemented an interesting tiered approach for evaluating initial awards and task order awards. VECTOR is an SDVOSB set-aside and has three evaluation tiers. Tier 1 consists of companies that have a team with verified SDVOSBs and VOSBs. Tier 2 includes other SB including non-verified SDVOSBs/VOSBs. Tier 3 include other than small businesses. VA’s evaluation will start with Tier 1 companies and if a sufficient number of companies are found to be qualified (by service group), evaluations will stop. Otherwise evaluations will continue to Tier 2 and (unlikely) Tier 3.
The “big guys” have yelled and screamed that this approach will lock them out of all future VA business. Translation: If procurement evaluations will never make it to Tier 2 or Tier 3, then Vets can really do it all!”
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (The FUDS)
For years, the “big guys” have preyed on Government managers’ FUDS – “Small Business is not capable of doing that work.” “Using a small business is high risk.” Yet, when we look at the failures that have been the staple of IG reports, GAO investigations, and Congressional hearings – how many have been small business contracts?
If it is not real risk, then what is it?
Is this a legitimate concern for the VA mission? Is it factual that only large businesses can perform certain contracts? Is it plain old corporate greed? VetLikeMe would like reader input and discussion, so please tell us what you think.