SOURCE: US Federal Contractor Registration

US FEDERAL CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION

July 05, 2016 12:00 ET

High Court Decision Ensures Access to Contracts for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - July 05, 2016) - The Supreme Court on June 16 unanimously decided that the Department of Veterans Affairs must set aside more contracts for veteran-owned small businesses. But for these types of businesses to take advantage of the contracts, they must have a current and valid System for Award Management (SAM) Registration.

US Federal Contractor Registration, the world's largest third-party government registration firm, is available to help veteran-owned small businesses complete their SAM Registration, learn about contract opportunities, and develop winning bid strategies.

"The High Court affirmed what I've suspected for some time," said Eric Knellinger, US Federal Contractor Registration president. "Not enough contracts are being set aside for small businesses, despite requirements that agencies do so."

Congress passed a law that required the VA to give preference to small businesses owned by veterans, when determining contract awards. This law, referred to as the "Rule of Two," charged the VA with limiting competition for contracts to veteran-owned small businesses when at least two such businesses submit bids, and the contracting officer determines that "the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price that offers best value to the United States."

Kingdomware Technologies brought suit in federal court, charging that the VA violated this "Rule of Two" when it awarded a contract to a non-veteran-owned small business who could provide emergency information to personnel at four medical centers.

The Court of Federal Claims dismissed the suit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a divided panel, affirmed this decision. In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals said the "Rule of Two" was less a mandate and more a means of ensuring that 12 percent of all contracts were awarded to veteran-owned businesses.

The U.S Supreme Court interpreted the law differently, and in the opinion issued by the court, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the word "shall" in the "Rule of Two" means that the VA is required to give preference to veteran-owned small businesses, when the requirements of the "Rule of Two" are met.

"Unlike the word 'may,' which implies discretion, the word 'shall' usually connotes a requirement," Thomas wrote.

This directive, he added, does not change, even after 12 percent of all contracts have been awarded to veterans.

According to Luke McLoughlin, who filed briefs on behalf of veteran-owned small business association, the "ruling means that more veterans will have the opportunities that Congress wanted them to have to build their business through competition before the VA." McLoughlin issued the statement in the wake of the landmark legal victory for veteran-owned small businesses throughout the United States.

US Federal Contractor Registration is the world's largest third-party registration firm. It helps business owners register to do business with the federal government; build a proper profile in the following systems: (8a, GSA, DSBS, System for Award Management, HUBZone, WOSB, EDWOSB, VOSB, SDVOSB, DAPA, and the Simplified Acquisition Program); and market that profile to the federal government. US Federal Contractor Registration is a platinum rated D&B rated company. It has completed more than 65,000 federal registrations for federal contractors, nonprofits, state and local agencies, and even for the U.S. government.

In 2015, US Federal Contractor Registration helped its clients earn more than $1.9 billion dollars in government contracts. As of May 15, 2016, US Federal Contractor Registration clients have earned nearly $700 million in contracts in 2016.

Contact Information

  • US Federal Contractor Registration
    877-252-2700, ext. 1.