You put your life on the line repeatedly for this country in a faraway war zone, come home disabled, and try to rebuild your life. As a Service-Disabled Veteran, you decide to start a small business with the knowledge that a 2004 executive order requires the heads of federal agencies to set a target goal of providing at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOSB). Now, a breaking story from Military.com reports that the Pentagon incompetently awarded $876.8 million in those contracts to ineligible small businesses— supposedly owned by disabled veterans.
Repeat $876.8 million!!!
The Inspector General’s office at the Pentagon issued a distressing 29-page report last Thursday. At least 16 of the 29 contractors reviewed received business from the Department of Defense (DoD) on the falsified basis that they met the service-disabled veteran requirements.
Contracting personnel at the DoD “did not perform the oversight necessary to verify compliance with the SDVOSB subcontracting requirements,” the report said. (At least 51% of SDVOSB must be owned by one or more service-disabled veterans. Additionally, one or more service-disabled veterans must be in control of the management and daily business operations.)
And what is the response from the supposedly pro-veteran Trump administration? Acting Director J. Scott Baum (Office of Small Business Programs at the DoD) disagreed with the findings and declined to address any recommendations to help those of you who lost contracts. He deflected blame onto the Small Business Administration, saying the SBA was “responsible for determining eligibility and ensuring compliance” with the SDVOSB rules.
That makes no sense; it is a mess. No one accepts blame, and business goes on, as usual. You get screwed by unscrupulous contractors & incompetent government personnel.
Perhaps Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses should start challenging EVERY contract you bid and lose on. If the current Trump administration will do nothing to honor your service to America, then it looks like your fighting days aren’t over.