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Source : Contractor News
January 11, 2024
Author : Patty Allen
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 marks a significant advancement in the U.S. government's commitment to supporting Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). The new legislation passed by Congress and signed into law notably increases the government-wide goal for using SDVOSBs. This move underscores a growing recognition of these businesses' vital role in the national economy and the importance of supporting veterans in their entrepreneurial ventures.
Under the new provisions of the NDAA, the target for SDVOSB utilization in federal contracting has been raised from the previous 3% to an ambitious 5%. This increase represents a substantial commitment by the federal government to ensure that a larger share of its contracting dollars goes to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. The shift is not just symbolic; it translates into tangible opportunities and increased revenue potential for these veteran-owned enterprises.
The legislation also introduces a significant change in the certification process for SDVOSBs. Previously, these businesses could self-certify or obtain certification through the Veterans Administration. However, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2024 mandates that SDVOSBs must now certify through the Small Business Administration (SBA). This change aims to streamline the certification process and ensure uniformity in the standards applied to all SDVOSBs seeking to do business with the federal government.
The rationale behind this legislative action is twofold. Firstly, it recognizes the sacrifices made by service-disabled veterans and the challenges they often face in re-entering the civilian workforce. By facilitating greater access to federal contracts, the government acknowledges these individuals' unique value to the business world, leveraging their skills, discipline, and leadership honed in military service.
Secondly, the SDVOSB utilization goal increase reflects an understanding of the broader economic benefits of diversifying the government's supplier base, promoting competition, and encouraging innovation.
The White House, in a statement from President Joe Biden on the NDAA, highlighted the significance of this legislation in supporting veteran-owned businesses. The President emphasized the administration's commitment to ensuring that veterans, particularly those with service-connected disabilities, have equitable opportunities to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
As this policy shift takes effect, it will be crucial for SDVOSBs to familiarize themselves with the new certification requirements through the SBA. The move from self-certification to a more centralized process may pose challenges for some businesses, but it ultimately aims to create a more transparent and fair marketplace for all participants. The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2024 is pivotal in bolstering the federal government's support for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.