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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is putting its money where its mandate is. Last year, the VA exceeded by more than six times the Small Business Administration (SBA) goal of government procurement to Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), according to a new SBA scorecard. The total surpassed the combined procurements from the rest of the federal government's civilian agencies.
The VA is required by statute to place SDVOSB and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) at the top of its hierarchy of its small business preferences. To support that policy, the VA has established a department goal of 10 percent for SDVOSB procurements and 12 percent for VOSB.
Last year, the VA nearly doubled its own SDVOSB goal by awarding more than 18 percent of its procurement dollars to small businesses owned by service-disabled vets. It also spent 20 percent of its procurement dollars with veteran-owned small businesses, again far exceeding its own goal.
Last week at the National Veteran Small Business Conference in Detroit, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced additional steps to ensure that the VA meets its commitment to veteran-owned businesses.
- Any contract not going to a veteran-owned small business must be reviewed by a senior executive and concurred with by a senior contracting executive.
- All senior executive performance evaluations will include a small business performance metric.
- For the first time, the VA has established small business procurement goals all the way down to the lowest senior executive level that exercises procurement responsibilities.
"Our results demonstrate VA’s commitment to the success of Veteran-owned small businesses," Shinseki said. "Veterans possess the vision and abilities to help build an enduring and vibrant economy. VA is doing its part to help translate those traits into results."