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The Rule of Two at VA: When can a small business force a set aside - Aldevera explained

Posted by attorney David Rose

Once again the GAO determines that the Rule of Two trumps the federal Supply Schedule when it comes to setting aside procurements for Veteran owned companies at the Department of Veterans Affairs!

In Aldevera, B-406205, Mar. 14, 2012, CPD ¶ 112, the GAO held that if two or more Veteran Owned or Service Disabled Veteran Owned could meet the requirements of a procurement at a reasonable price through market research, the procurement had to be set aside under the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, 38 U.S.C. §§ 8127-8128 (2006) (the VA Act).

In the instant case, Aldevera II and III, B-406331, B-406391, Apr. 20, 2012, the GAO again sustain protests when the Department of Veterans Affairs again issued unrestricted Requests for Proposals under GSA Schedules without first ascertaining if two or more VOSB or SDVOSB small businesses could meet the requirements of a procurement at a reasonable price through market research. The GAO concluded that the VA Act required the Agency first make a determination whether the acquisitions in question be set aside for Veteran owned small businesses prior to conducting the procurements using the Federal Supply Schedules. They also recommended reimbursing the protestor for the costs of filing the pursuing the protests. 4 CFR § 21.8(d)(1).

Additional resources provided by the author

The summary opinion can be found at: http://www.gao.gov/products/B-406331,B-406391

The opinions here are for information only and are not to be considered legal advice nor relied on as such. Always consult with your attorney when you are not sure how to approach a Federal contract or when making a procurement decision.

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