Since 2004 after a presidential mandate to contract 3% of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, federal agencies have struggled to meet that goal.
Now renewed emphasis has been placed on the matter by the GSA and the Veteran's Entrepreneurship Task force (VET-Force) with the signing of an agreement on Tuesday,19 August 2008. Under the memorandum of agreement, VET-Force will use its network of veterans to expand training and information on federal opportunities for these firms.
VET-Force is composed of more than 200 organizations and affiliates -- many small businesses -- representing thousands of veterans. It was organized in 1999 to lobby for the Veterans' Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act, which became law, and provide assistance to veterans who are starting businesses.
"GSA welcomes the opportunity to work with the VET-Force and other organizations committed to helping veterans and service-disabled veterans who are entrepreneurs," said GSA acting Administrator David Bibb. "This is a point of honor, but it is also a point of common sense. When we expand economic opportunities for veterans, we're drawing on men and women who know teamwork, discipline, cooperation and mission accomplishment."
In fiscal 2007, GSA spent 2.2 percent of its procurement dollars on businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. In announcing the agreement, officials said preliminary data for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 shows GSA has increased that figure to 3.2 percent, surpassing the statutory goal.
The agreement was part of GSA's 21 Gun Salute initiative, led by the agency's chief of staff, John Phelps. GSA works with other agencies, veterans and industry to meet the 3 percent spending target.
GSA also drew up the first government-wide acquisition contract set-aside exclusively for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
The Veterans Technology Services GWAC, through which agencies can procure systems operations and maintenance and engineering services, was the first contract vehicle reserved for service-disabled veterans. The contract was awarded in 2006 to 44 businesses and has a $5 billion ceiling.
Veteran's can obtain assistance in the details of entering federal government contracting at:
For additional information on the disabled veteran's contracting initiatives please see the following links: