How Does the Kingdomware Supreme Court Decision Affect Veteran-Owned Small Businesses?
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) are celebrating the unanimous decision recently taken by the Supreme Court, ruling the VA's "rule of two" mandatory, and now applicable to all VA procurements, including Federal Supply Schedule orders. This ruling means that veteran-owned businesses will now truly be put first by the VA when procuring goods or services. But what does this actually mean for veteran-owned small businesses?
What are the Implications for Veteran-owned Small Businesses?
In an article explaining the implications of the ruling, representatives of Venerable LLP outlined the following three key takeaway points that veteran-owned businesses need to consider regarding this decision:
- Confirm your business's registration in the VA's Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database as a veteran-owned or service-disabled-veteran-owned small business.
- Consider your partnering options immediately. "Now that the VA is obligated to prioritize veteran-owned small businesses for all competitive contracts, including orders under FSS contracts, contractors that do not hold veteran-owned small business status face the prospect of being ineligible for award follow-on contracts. In such cases, the only viable option may be for the incumbent to team with an eligible veteran-owned small business as a subcontractor. Of course, any such arrangement will have to ensure it does not violate the VA's limitations on subcontracting requirements."
- Consider the prospects of expanded application of Kingdomware. Shortly after the ruling was made, the SBA has indicated that it is considering how this decision could potentially impact the application of the Small Business Act, specifically in terms of awarding government procurement contracts. "Though the Supreme Court did not discuss "Rule of Two" obligations under the Small Business Act, the Court's statement that FSS orders are contracts appears to have prompted the SBA to analyze whether, under the Small Business Act, such analysis is necessary for FSS orders competed by all federal agencies. If so, the steps taken by the VA in response to the Kingdomware decision could serve as a preview of changes to come throughout the federal government and trigger potential "Rule of Two" analyses on all federal FSS procurements", the authors explain.
This Supreme Court ruling will result in changes to the VA Verification process, which will affect service disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses. The VA is committed to helping SDVOSBs and VOSBs navigate the changes that will be implemented in terms of the VA Verification process as a result of the Kingdomware ruling.
All VA-verified SDVOSBs and VOSBs are encouraged to learn more about how the Kingdomware ruling will affect their business operations, as well as their responsibilities in terms of future veteran-owned small businesses procurement procedures. If you have any questions about how the Kingdomware Supreme Court decision will affect your veteran-owned small businesses you are encouraged to attend the SDVOSB/VOSB Kingdomware Town Hall presented by the VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) during the 2016 National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE), 1-3 November 2016 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota.
Below is an outline of what will be addressed at the SDVOSB/VOSB Kingdomware Town Hall:
- Explanation of how the rule of two will affect VA procurements, led by staff from VA OSDBU and VA Office of Acquisitions and Logistics/OAL
- Information on the benefits of registering in VA Business Intelligence Tool (VA BIT) and the importance of having a complete and thorough VA BIT profile
- Answers to your questions about the Kingdomware Supreme Court decision â€” veteran-owned small businesses owners are encouraged to submit questions for discussion during the Town Hall.
Registration for NVSBE 2016 is now open - you can register online to attend this important small business convention.