Companies seeking preferential treatment as veteran-owned or small businesses will first have to verify their status with the Veterans Affairs Department.
Under the 2010 Veterans Benefits Act, VA has greater responsibilities to ensure that businesses competing for set-aside contracts are eligible.
This applies to companies currently listed in VA’s Vendor Information Pages database. Since mid-December, the agency has contacted more than 13,000 businesses by e-mail and mail to notify them of the new deadline.
Companies have 90 days to submit documentation to VA upon notification, or they will not be listed in the database, VA announced Monday. The verification process requires businesses to provide a list of all owners, the percentage of ownership for each person and other relevant information.
“Although the verification process may initially be a challenge to some small business owners and to VA, it’s a necessary step to eliminate misrepresentation by firms trying to receive contracts that should go to service-disabled and other Veteran-owned vendors,” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in a news release.
Similar requirements will extend to businesses not listed in VA’s database once those in the database are notified.
The announcement follows the temporary suspension last year of three Washington-area firms for alleged abuse of small-business set-aside rules.
Information technology vendor GTSI has since resumed new federal business, but suspensions for EG Solutions and MultimaxArray FirstSource have not been lifted.