Monday, January 03, 2011

VA Set to Verify Veteran Small Businesses



Washington (Jan. 3, 2010)- To further advocate for Veterans, VA
announced that companies identifying themselves as small businesses or
Veteran-owned businesses to gain priority for some Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) contracts must now provide documentation verifying
their status within 90 days of receiving notice from the agency.

"VA is committed to doing business with as well as supporting and
protecting Veteran-owned small businesses," said Secretary of Veterans
Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Although the verification process may
initially be a challenge to some small business owners and to VA, it's a
necessary step to eliminate misrepresentation by firms trying to receive
contracts that should go to service-disabled and other Veteran-owned
vendors."

The Veterans Benefits Act of 2010, signed by the President Oct. 13,
expanded VA's requirement to verify the status of businesses claiming
Veterans preference to compete for VA contracts by being listed in VA's
VetBiz.gov "Vendor Information Pages" (VIP) database.  Companies will
have to submit an application to substantiate their status as owned and
controlled by Veterans, service-disabled Veterans or eligible surviving
spouses.  Only companies that submit the information will be listed in
the VIP database.

The law requires VA to notify currently listed businesses that within 90
days of the Veteran-owned business receiving the notice they must submit
certain business documents. VA sent notices to more than 13,000 listed
businesses by email and mail Dec. 10-11.   Other companies, wanting to
be listed in the database and considered for future set-aside VA
contracts, also have to submit application packages. VA will work on
those verifications after the existing listings are verified.

The department plans to post additional information at www.VetBiz.gov in
early February informing applicants how to submit their documents
electronically.  In the meantime, VA's notice to currently listed
businesses encourages them to submit their information on CD-ROM.

Priority processing will be given to those Veteran-owned firms that are
in line to receive a set-aside contract from VA, those that already
conduct business with VA, and those that have already filed an
application for verification.

For more information, visit the Office of Small and Disadvantaged
Business Utilization's website at
www.va.gov/OSDBU/veteran/verification.asp or the main page at
www.va.gov/osdbu/.