A House Veterans Affairs subcommittee has passed a newly introduced bill (HR-3169) to improve hiring and training of acquisition and construction management personnel at the VA.

The measure would: require VA to create career certification programs for construction and logistics employees reflecting similar programs at the Department of Defense; extend VA’s career certification for contracting officers to VA’s logistics workers and construction managers; and expand its acquisition intern programs to bring in more new college graduates and recently discharged veterans.

Meanwhile, the GSA has entered into a memo of agreement with the department designed to make it easier for VA acquisition personnel to access VA-verified vendor information when purchasing from GSA and VA managed federal supply schedules.

The memo involves changes to policies and a vendor database aimed at enhancing the VA’s use of set-asides for veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.