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VA begins set-asides for disabled vets.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has become the first to implement the new set-aside program for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

In a Feb. 24 letter to VA managers, C. Ford Heard, director of the department's Acquisition Resources Service, spelled out procedures for using the new preference. "We strongly encourage you to use the above authority to increase acquisitions made from SDVOSBs," he wrote.

He instructed contracting officers to use the department's registry of veteran-owned businesses, at www.vetbiz.gov, as their primary market research tool to locate qualified contractors. (For more on vetbiz.com, see Web Watch, p, 3.)

Other agencies are likely to wait until the Small Business Administration issues a rule implementing the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, which was signed by President Bush Dec. 16.

Set-asides and sole-source awards are limited to $3 million, or $5 million for manufacturers.

Congress has established a governmentwide goal of awarding 3% of prime contract dollars to service-disabled-veteran-owned companies, but the government has never achieved even one-quarter of 1%.
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Title Annotation:Department of Veterans Affairs
Publication:Set-Aside Alert
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 5, 2004
Words:170
Previous Article:Agencies push for bigger contracts, fewer vendors.
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