Legislation (HR-7169) newly offered in the House by leaders of committees overseeing the SBA and the VA would give the former agency authority to certify businesses participating in veterans contracting preferences programs of the latter.
Sponsors said that while the SBA currently certifies for small businesses to participate in other preference programs, in the service-disabled veteran owned small business program, the VA certifies contractors for the contracts it issues while contractors self-certify for contracts with other agencies. “The result of weak controls has been years of fraud, waste, and abuse as companies not owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans have taken advantage of the system,” they said.
“Different treatment of SDVOSBs depending on which federal agency they contract with is confusing and inefficient,” the statement said. “VA requires a rigorous verification process, while other agencies allow nearly anyone to self-certify. This situation has created more problems than good, and it is high time to fix it.”
They said the proposal would create new opportunities for legitimate veteran-owned small businesses to compete for federal contracts by weeding out fraudulent contracts.
The measure likely will not progress in Congress during the remainder of this year.