Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

Verification NOT Certification

I mentioned this in an earlier post and many of you already know that there is not a Veteran certification.  There is only a verification of ones Veteran status as the 51% owner(s) of a business concern.  This process of verification is currently managed by the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), which is part of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).  This verification process is required by Public Law 109-461 which also establishes unique procurement authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

We must self identify; all Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) need to register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the Dynamic Small Business (DSB), Online Representations and Certifications (ORCA) and the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) databases.  Currently, only one VOSB per Veteran or per Veteran ownership group can receive the CVE verification seal, but multiple VOSBs per Veteran or per Veteran ownership group can be registered in the VIP database without the verification seal.  That particular issue has generated a considerable amount of discussion and dissatisfaction among many in our community.  I will keep you posted as we sort through the particulars. 

Due in part to the tremendous volume of businesses registering with the VIP and applying for verification, the actual verification timeline is quite extensive (4 to 6 months).  Another factor contributing to lengthy verification times is significant under staffing at the CVE.  In addition, businesses are required to re-verify their status each year so peak season at the CVE is year round.  The process isn’t perfect, but it’s the best one we have right now. 

As mentioned earlier, PL 109-461 established unique procurement authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  That PL gave the VA the right to establish its own contracting goals (which are much higher than any other agency in the federal government) and it allowed the VA to determine the contracting priority within the VA.  Essentially, the VA has established the “Order of Merit List” for contracting as Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) first and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) second.  A move designed to benefit legitimate, honest and patriotic Veterans has proven entirely too tempting for some and resulted in wide-spread fraud, abuse and corruption in our program.  You can read more about these stories in the Fraud, Waste and Abuse section under the Discussions Board. 

Do not think for one second that our program is the only one in the federal government with fraud, abuse and corruption.  Far from it, I dare say that every federal contracting program is infected with unscrupulous, corrupt, power and money hungry individuals determined to exploit federal contracting programs and people to serve their selfish purposes.  The VBR is designed in part to give us the information and knowledge to understand how the process works and how to leverage the same to the benefit of our community and our families.  Tell your Veteran friends about the VBR, its vision and its mission.  Tell them they need to “like” the page and learn how to make Government Contracting work for them too!

See you on the high ground!             

 

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Filed under: Getting Started, Government Contracting, Registrations & Certifications, Veterans Affairs, ,

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