The VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization issued an Advanced Notice of Rulemaking on Monday, May 13, 2013. According to the Notice, the VA “intends to improve the regulations to provide greater clarity, to streamline the program, and to encourage more VOSBs to apply for verification,” is seeking comments from the public on how best to achieve this objective. The Notice provided specific questions for comment, but invited comments from the public on any issue related to improving the VOSB program. Comments should be submitted by July 12, 2013. The questions provided by the VA are below:
- What could be changed to improve the clarity of the regulations? Where might bright lines be drawn to more clearly indicate compliance with the regulations and reduce potential for misinterpretation? Where might the addition of bright line tests create unintended consequences?
- It has been suggested that VA should develop a list that would clearly delineate what constitutes ownership and control and what constitutes lack of control or ownership. Should a list like this be included in the rule, and if so, what should be on the list?
- Are there changes to VA’s regulations that could be made to reduce the economic impact on VOSBs?
- Are there changes to VA Form 0877 (application) that could streamline the process?
- What verification process improvements could help to increase efficiency and reduce burden for VOSBs?
- What additional training tools or assistance might be offered to create more clarity for stakeholders and help them more efficiently and effectively navigate the verification regulations?
- What documents, records, or other materials could the Office for the Center for Veterans Enterprise use to distinguish legitimate VOSBs/SDVOSBs from businesses that fraudulently seek contracts from the Government?
- Would a special Hotline to report suspected ineligible VOSBs/SDVOSBs help the Government ensure that contracts are awarded to legitimate VOSBs/SDVOSBs?
The Advanced Notice of Rulemaking can be found here.