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Part Number: 819

Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulations

819.7001 General.

819.7001 General.

(a) Sections 502 and 503 of Public Law 109-461, the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, as amended (38 U.S.C. 8127- 8128), authorizes a VA specific program to increase contracting opportunities for eligible small business concerns owned and controlled by Veterans with service-connected disabilities and small business concerns owned and controlled by Veterans. Once ownership and control by these veterans is verified, these businesses are referred to as service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) or collectively SDVOSB/VOSB for ease of reference.

(b) The program as implemented in this subpart shall be known as the Veterans First Contracting Program. The purpose of the program is to increase contracting opportunities and provide for priority in the award of contracts and subcontracts to SDVOSBs/VOSBs so they can fully participate in the VA contracting process. Eligible SDVOSBs qualify for any VOSB preferences under this subpart.

(c) VA's program is codified at 38 U.S.C. 8127(b), (c), and (d), and provides the authority for VA contracting officers to make awards to SDVOSBs/VOSBs using restricted competition, as well as other than full and open competition (sole source), as set-forth in this subpart. Additionally, 38 U.S.C. 8128 provides the authority for VA to give SDVOSBs/VOSBs priority in the awarding of contracts and subcontracts using evaluation preferences.

(d) Contracting officers shall award contracts by restricting competition to eligible SDVOSBs/VOSBs as provided in 819.7006 and 819.7007. The contracting officer may use other preferences in this subpart as appropriate and in accordance with procuring activity guidelines.

(e) Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 8128, contracting officers shall give priority to SDVOSBs/VOSBs if such business concern(s) also meet the requirements of that contracting preference. In carrying out this responsibility, contracting officers shall include the clauses prescribed at 808.405-570 and 815.304-71 in competitive solicitations and contracts that are not set-aside for SDVOSB/VOSB, including those under FAR part 12. The requirement in this paragraph (e) applies even when using a contracting preference under FAR part 19 (for example, a women-owned small business set-aside).

(f) The attainment of goals or the use of interagency vehicles or Governmentwide contract vehicles (i.e., Federal Supply Schedules (FSS)) does not relieve the contracting officer from using SDVOSB/VOSB set-asides and other preferences as provided in subpart 819.70. Moreover, if the VA enters into a contract, agreement, or other arrangement with any governmental entity to acquire goods or services, the entity acting on behalf of the VA through such an interagency acquisition or other agreement will comply, to the maximum extent feasible, with the provisions of the Veterans First Contracting Program as set forth in this subpart.

(g) Contracting officers shall ensure awards are made using the VA hierarchy of SDVOSB/VOSB preferences in this subpart. Specifically, the contracting officer will consider preferences for eligible SDVOSBs first, then preferences for other eligible VOSBs.

(h) When an offer of an SDVOSB/VOSB prime contractor includes a proposed team of small business subcontractors and specifically identifies the first-tier subcontractor(s) in the proposal, the contracting officer must consider the capabilities, past performance, and experience of each first tier subcontractor that is part of the team as the capabilities, past performance, and experience of the small business prime contractor if the capabilities, past performance, and experience of the small business prime does not independently demonstrate capabilities and past performance necessary for award.