Congress often includes provisions dealing with small business programs in its annual National Defense Authorization Act. 2016 was no exception.  

This year, In Section 1832, Congress has attempted to provide some uniformity to the Veterans Administration and the Small Business Administration programs for our veteran-owned small businesses. Here are the highlights:

Uniformity in Service-Disabled Veteran Definitions

  • Defines “small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans” in the small business act and makes the definition universal for both the SBA and VA SDVOSB Program (8127 of title 38)
  • Requires VA to use the SBA regulations to verify the status of a concern as a small business and the ownership and control of such a concern, for purposes of the VA’s SDVOSB program
  • States that the VA may not issue regulations related to the status of a concern as a small business or the ownership/control of such a business
  • Of note: both SBA and VA now allow a company owned by a spouse of a veteran who was 100% disabled at the time of his death or died as a result of a service-connected disability, and who acquires the ownership interest of the veteran after his death, to qualify as an SDVOSB (previously VA allowed this, but SBA did not)

Appeals of inclusion in database

  • Can appeal VA’s denial of verification to OHA

As always, implementing these changes will require some regulatory changes by both agencies and we will keep you posted on that progress.

Separately, the General Accountability Office’s jurisdiction to hear some task order protests had expired by Congress and has now permanently granted GAO jurisdiction to hear protests of civilian task orders valued at $10 million or more and protests of defense agency task orders of $25 million or more.

About the Author: Pam Mazza is the managing partner of PilieroMazza. She may be reached at [email protected].