SDVOSB and VOSB have priority for contracts awarded under GSA’s FSS (Federal Supply Schedule) procedures.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must conduct market research to determine if there are two or more eligible SDVOSB or VOSB concerns capable of performing the agency’s requirements.  If yes, then VA must set aside FSS solicitations for SDVOSB or VOSB concerns.

GAO has repeatedly sustained protests filed by SDVOSB (small disadvantaged veteran owned small business) or VOSB (veteran owned small business) concerns for the VA’s failure to follow mandatory procedures favoring SDVOSB and VOSB.  The Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, 38 U.S.C. §§ 8127-8128 (2006), requires VA to determine whether two or more SDVOSB or VOSB concerns can meet its requirements at a reasonable price before proceeding with FSS procurements.

In Matter of Aldevra, B-406331, B-406391, 2012 CPD ¶ 144 (April 20, 2012), GAO sustained SDVOSB Aldevra’s protest against a VA solicitation for refrigerators and miscellaneous kitchen equiment for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System.  The agency had issued the FSS solicitations on an unrestricted basis to vendors holding FSS contracts.

Protester Aldevra is holding the VA’s feet to the fire.  A March 14, 2012, GAO bid protest was decided in favor of protester Aldevra for the same reason.  B-406205, 2012 CPD ¶ 112.

GAO recommended the agency conduct market research to determine whether there is a reasonable expectation that two or more SDVOSB or VOSB concerns can meet the agency’s needs at a reasonable price.  If so, the requirements should be solicited as SDVOSB or VOSB set-asides.

For more information about SDVOSB or VOSB, or for help with your government contract bid protest, contact Karen Hindson of Hindson & Melton LLC.