On June 16 the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) established its ruling on Kingdomware vs. The United States, which is set to drive more contractor teaming with veteran-owned small businesses in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
From the SCOTUS blog “The issue before the Court was whether a federal law which provides that, as long as certain conditions are met, the Department of Veterans Affairs “shall award” contracts to small businesses owned by veterans applies every time the department awards contracts. The federal government had argued that the rule left some room for discretion, but today the Court rejected that argument. “Shall,” the Court emphasized, was meant as “a command.”
The implications of this ruling will be potentially widespread across government institutions if history repeats itself. Two big noteworthy changes resulting from this ruling are that:
- First, the VA must now give preference to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) on purchases made through GSA Schedules.
- Second, the VA must give preference to veteran-owned businesses on all its acquisitions, whether or not the VA has met its annual veteran contracting goals.
With this ruling, small, service-disabled, veteran-owned businesses will be sought after as potential partners for larger teaming efforts. This new door to opportunity will inevitably result in a range of potential partners from qualified and well-intentioned through opportunistic, but the right kind of change is happening and as a veteran-owned business, we at Three Wire are optimistic about this trajectory.
The VA has led the way in enabling veterans to gain access to economic opportunity by leveraging the federal procurement system and expanding participation of procurement-ready small businesses. As a SDVOSB on GSA IT70, SEWP V, and CIOCS, and a leading technology and innovation partner, we are excited about what this means for economic opportunities for those veterans who are already in the marketplace, and the inspiration we hope it provides to those who have been waiting to dip their toe into the waters.