Corner the Federal Market as a Veteran-owned Small Business with this Supreme Court Decision!
Thanks to Kingdomware, you can now take advantage of this Supreme Court decision to help you corner the federal market!
KINGDOMWARE VS. THE UNITED STATES
Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. is a name that every veteran and every veteran-owned small business across the United States may absolutely know.
Why? Because they set the precedent for how the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) must award contracts according to the Small Business Act, Veteran Benefits Act, and specifically the “Rule of Two.”
WHAT IS THE VETERAN BENEFITS ACT?
The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 established a 3% government-wide contracting goal for contracting with service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB).
When the federal government continually fell behind in achieving these goals, the Congress tried to correct the situation by enacting the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006.
That Act requires the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to set more specific annual goals that encourage contracting with SDVOSB and veteran-owned small businesses.
The Act’s “rule of two” also highlights that the VA “shall award” contracts by restricting competition for the contract to service-disabled or other veteran-owned small businesses.
To restrict competition, the contracting officer must reasonably expect that at least two of these small businesses will submit offers and that “the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price that offers best value to the United States.”
Still, the Congress provides an exception to the rule. It states that the VA may use non-competitive and sole-source contracts when the contracts are below specific dollar amounts.
WHAT WAS THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION?
The court ruled that the rule of two is mandatory and not discretionary. Its text requires that the Department of Veteran Affairs should apply the rule of two to all contracting determinations and to award contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.
The Act also does not allow the VA to evade the rule of two on the ground that it has already met its contracting goals or on the ground that the department has placed an order through Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), another contracting vehicle widely used by the government.
Apart from that, the Supreme Court also ruled that the statutory language unambiguously requires that the VA use the rule of two before contract under competitive procedures, with the exception of noncompetitive and sole-source contracts.
What does this mean for veteran-owned small businesses in plain English?
Well, despite having a 3% contracting goal, the Department of Veteran Affairs must use the rule of two when awarding contracts, even when the department will otherwise meet its annual minimum contracting goals.
Thus, with a 2017 proposed budget of $182 billion, there’s a huge slice of pie that veteran-owned small businesses just picked up!
WE CAN HELP YOU!
With this in mind, if you want to learn more about doing business with the government, then join us here at GovCon Giants.
Just visit our website and other social media platforms or check the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!
You can also check these resources below for your veteran-owned small business!
SDVOSBC Vetbiz registration instructions for veterans – Eric Coffie
Win Your 1st Government Contract
SAM Registration Tips
Small Business Tips