Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Vets First Verification Program
8:00am to 8:00pm (Eastern)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Has Special Authority for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business/Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB/VOSB) Set-aside and Sole Source Contracts.
Public Law (P.L.) 109-461 entitled “Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006” provides VA with unique authority for contracting with SDVOSB and VOSB. A new procurement hierarchy within VA for open market procurements was created which places our highest priority with SDVOB followed by VOSB. These are followed by 8(a), HUBZone, Woman-Owned Small Business, then all other Small Businesses. This procurement authority, and its subsequent implementation, is a logical extension of VA’s mission, to care for our nation’s Veterans. VA refers to this program as the Veterans First Contracting Program. See VA Acquisition Regulation Part 808, Required Sources of Supplies and Services, for the priorities in acquisition..
In order to qualify for participation in the VA Veterans First Contracting Program, eligible business owners must first be verified.
Center for Verification and Evaluation Transformation
Over the past months, the VA Center for Evaluation and Certification (CVE) has undergone major changes and implemented significant improvements to its operations to better assist Veterans and become much more Veteran-friendly. Small Business Focus Group Feedback includes pain points in the existing Verification process and the MyVA Verification Application Transformation Trial outlines this organizational transformation and the improvements to Verification processing.
Verification Guides and Popular Fact Sheets
- Initial Verification Application Guide - Intended to assist applicants to comply with the regulatory requirements in 38 CFR Part 74 in order to apply for Verification.
- 4 Steps to VA Verification
- What documents do I need to apply?
- Verification Application Required Documents Rationale - Provides Veterans insight about how the information CVE gleans from these documents is used.
- Verification Renewal Fact Sheet - Find out more about the Renewal process.
- Average Verification Processing Time - See how long it takes for verification applications to be processed over the last three months.
- Apply for Verification - Submit your application for verification.
- Verification Webinars - CVE is hosting recurring training for interested Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses on different aspects of the verification process.
Verification Assistance Program
VA has developed a Verification Assistance Program to help Veterans understand the Verification policy and process. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of denial due to lack of understanding and misinterpretation of the regulation. To accomplish this objective, we are establishing partnerships with Veteran Services and small business support organizations that can provide assistance to Veterans considering applying for the Vet First program.
VA Certified Verification Counselors
VA Certified Verification Counselors have been trained by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization to provide verification application assistance to applicants. Counselors are available throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Assistance is available at no cost to the Veteran. Additional assistance features include:
- Provide insight regarding the interpretation of regulation 38 CFR Part 74
- Review a firm’s business model
- Answer questions on how to use the Verification Self-Assessment Tool
- Status Checks on where an applicant is in the Verification process
If you are an applicant in need of assistance visit the list of VA Certified Verification Counselors.
Verification Assistance Counselor Training
VA continues to offer its “Understanding the VA Verification Process” training series, in an effort to certify Verification Counselors throughout the United States. View Upcoming Training Dates and Register for Training »
Laws and Regulations
- 38 CFR § 74 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines
- 38 CFR § 74 RIN 2900-AO49 - (See page 1, center column) Interim final rule regarding the two-year Verification eligibility term for SDVOSB/VOSBs
- 38 U.S.C. §§ 8127/8128 (Veteran Benefits)
- P.L. 111-275, Sec. 104 (Small Business Verification Act)
- 48 C.F.R. Parts 802, 804, 808, 809, 810, 813, 815, 817, 819, 828 & 852 Veterans First Contracting
Center for Verification and Evaluation Standard Operating Procedure (Last reviewed on September 29, 2015)
- PROC-VERIFICATION-001 - Verification Process
VA Moves Against Non-Compliant and Fraudulent Firms
The Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) has established a process to report firms alleged to be non-compliant with one or more of the regulatory requirements for the Vets First Verification Program. Report firms believed to be non-compliant of 38 CFR Part 74.
The VA Office of Inspector General is committed to protecting the rights of the service-disabled Veteran entrepreneur community by vigorously investigating and seeking prosecution of those who deprive these Veterans who have earned the right to set-aside government contracts. Report fraud to VA OIG Hotline.