As Supreme Court Case Nears, VetLikeMe Joins Contracting Battle
(SDVOSB News Services – Washington 8/25/2015) — VetLikeMe –– the Nation’s only online news source dedicated to Veteran-Owned Small Business, today entered into an alliance with Kingdomware Technologies, LLC in its case against the Veteran’s Administration (VA). Several veterans’ organizations – including the American Legion – contend that the VA has and continues to violate Public Law 109-461, commonly known as “Veterans First.”
The controversial law gained national exposure in 2012 when a service-disabled veteran owned small business protested a contract award based on PL 109-461. The protest was reviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and upheld by GAO.
GAO’s decision was blatantly ignored by VA’s Office of Acquisitions and Logistics, and it issued an agency-wide memorandum to its contracting officers that GAO’s guidance was not to be followed.
Service-disabled veteran owned business (SDVOSB) and veteran owned small business (VOSB) procurement priorities were created under the VA Act (‘‘Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006’’). That internal mandate directs VA to search for veteran-owned businesses for all VA procurements. But the VA takes the position that it can buy goods and services using the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) without first considering SDVOSBs or VOSBs. The VA’s position enabled the VA to circumvent SDVOSBs and VOSBs whenever goods or services were available on the FSS.
Kingdomware Technologies, LLC, of Waldorf, MD took the case to the Court of Federal Claims, where the Court ruled in VA’s favor. Kingdomware appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and lost again. On June 14 the Supreme Court indicated that it will deliberate the Kingdomware case in the Court’s next term.
“This case is very significant for all VOSB–the VA created the contracting mandate but the agency that supposedly advocates for veterans ignores their own legislation. VA has not held up the mandate they created by passing PL 109-461,” Hardy Stone, owner of VetLikeMe, remarked. “Veterans hire veterans, period. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Kingdomware, there will be a significant reduction in veteran unemployment.”
VetLikeMe (VLM) is a national news bureau owned and operated by disabled veterans. Launched in 2010, VLM covers VOSB news, including national and State legislation. The bi-partisan online publication also interviews members of Congress, national small business experts and features award-winning editorial. The mission of VLM is to increase contracting opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses.
For further information, contact Ralph Baxter