Recent GAO Decision Reiterates: Veterans Come First at the VA
Recent GAO decision––Veterans4You––reiterates that veterans come first at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Here, GAO affirmed that the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (VBA) requires the VA to give priority to service-disabled, veteran-owned (SDVOSB) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) when “procuring goods and services pursuant to a contracting preference under [title 38] or any other provision of law." 38 USC § 8128(a).
The Federal Circuit previously said that "any other provision of law" includes procurements under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act, PDS Consultants, Inc. v. United States, 907 F.3d 1345,1360 (Fed. Cir. 2018), and here, GAO said that it also includes VA procurements through the Government Publishing Office's acquisition authority under 44 USC §§ 501-502.
GAO put it simply: "[s]imply stated, any time the VA is acquiring goods or services--without limitation--it is required to determine whether there are at least two SDVOSBs or VOSBs capable of meeting the agency’s requirements at a fair and reasonable price." (The rule of two requirement under § 8127(d) of the VBA).
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