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Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2015 Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.) The House’s version of the act intends to transfer the Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) verification responsibility from the VA to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Currently, the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDB) is responsible for the verification. The OSDB runs SDVOSB verification through their VetBiz website at

Under the version that the House just passed, the VA would be directed to use the SBA’s definition of a SDVOSB until the transfer of responsibilities to the SBA is complete. In the past, the requirements to qualify as a SDVOSB has varied, depending on whether an acquisition falls under the VA’s or SBA’s SDVOSB rules. Requiring both agencies to use the same definition could resolve a major problem.

But if the Senate passes the bill without amending it and the president signs off, the VA would not use the SBA’s definition for long. As it stands, the bill requires the VA to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the SBA within 180 days, under which the VA will transfer control and administration of the SDVOSB verification program to the SBA.

The current NDAA in the Senate specifies that the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals would be responsible for all appeals regarding denied verifications or appeals from SDVOSB status protests under VA set-aside contracts. The bill currently does not specify whether SDVOSB status protests would be decided by the SBA, or continue to be settled by the VA.

It is likely that the House-passed NDAA will not make it through the Senate without changes. If so, the NDAA for fiscal 2015 will not be enacted until a House-Senate conference committee can reach an agreement.If the Senate agrees, and the President signs the bill into law, the process of transferring SDVOSB verification from the VA CVE to the SBA could begin later this year.

Veteran small business owners and Service-Disabled small business owners should pay attention to how the FY 2015 NDAA plays out. It could mean big changes are in store.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: House Bill Could Change SDVOSB Law: By Debbie Gregory