COURT: Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Beats VA

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Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business

The Supreme Court made an unsurprising ruling that Veterans Affairs must follow a law that says it “shall” follow disabled veteran owned small business rules.

Who would’a thunk it? VA needs to follow laws created by Congress? The word “shall” is not optional like the word “may” in a law? Shocking!

The case, Kingdomware Technologies v US involved a disabled US Army veteran’s company that was competing against a bigger firm with an existing preferential contract at VA. The contract was for emergency notification services.

VA apparently ignored the mandate to award the contract to the veteran owned business, which was in line with their practice to screw disabled veteran owned small businesses for years.

Not surprisingly, VA has long put veteran owned businesses at a disadvantage when they compete against larger companies already providing services through the Federal Supply Schedule. VA erroneously believed it could ignore a congressional mandate to help veteran owned business compete against non-veteran owned businesses to fulfill contract needs.

Did they really believe they could ignore the law, or did they do it because they did not believe they would get caught?

For almost 10 years, VA has knowingly violated the so-called “Rule of Two” when seeking contract bids that was intended to benefit veterans. Under the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, veteran owned small businesses “shall be” considered when two or more companies are likely to submit reasonable bids for a significant contract.

The Supreme Court provided a summary of the history to that point:

The Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to set annual goals for contracting with service-disabled and other veteran-owned small businesses. 38 U. S. C. §8127(a). To help reach those goals, a separate set-aside provision known as the “Rule of Two” provides that a contracting officer “shall award contracts” by restricting competition to veteran-owned small businesses if the officer reasonably expects that at least two such businesses will submit offers and that “the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price that offers best value to the United States.” §8127(d). Two exceptions provide that the contracting officer “may” use noncompetitive and sole-source contracts for contracts below specific dollar amounts. §§8127(b), (c).

In 2012, the Department procured an Emergency Notification Service for four medical centers for a one-year period, with an option to extend the agreement for two more, from a non-veteran-owned business.

The Department did so through the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), a streamlined method that allows Government agencies to acquire particular goods and services under prenegotiated terms. After the initial year, the Department exercised its option for an additional year, and the agreement ended in 2013.

Petitioner Kingdomware Technologies, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), alleging that the Department procured multiple contracts through the FSS without employing the Rule of Two. The GAO determined that the Department’s actions were unlawful, but when the Department declined to follow the GAO’s nonbinding recommendation, Kingdomware filed suit, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The Court of Federal Claims granted summary judgment to the Government, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, holding that the Department was only required to apply the Rule of Two when necessary to satisfy its annual goals.

According to the Court’s decision:

“The surrounding subsections of §8127 [section of the law] confirm that Congress used the word ‘shall’ in §8127(d) as a command… The word ‘shall’ usually connotes a requirement, unlike the word ‘may,’ which implies discretion.”

How on earth can any right-minded American misunderstand the difference between “shall” and “may” in the statute? Or is this an obvious example of how the agency sometimes defrauds veterans of the benefits to which they are entitled?

Previous federal appeals resulted in judges siding with the agency claiming VA was not required to follow the “Rule of Two” so long as it awarded between 7 to 12 percent of all contracts to disabled veteran owned businesses.

Luckily, Clarence Thomas and company fixed their wagon:

“The Act does not allow the Department to evade the Rule of Two on the ground that it has already met its contracting goals or on the ground that the Department has placed an order through the FSS [federal supply schedule].”

How many millions in taxpayer dollars were diverted away from competitive disabled veteran owned small businesses in favor of cronies within mega corporations or shell companies owned by those same firms?

According to Russia Times (RT) on the decision:

The Supreme Court noted that Congress provided two exceptions to the “Rule of Two,” both of which allow the department to use non-competitive and sole-source contracts for contracts below specific dollar thresholds, but ruled that neither of them applied in this case.

It has also rejected the department’s argument that requiring it to apply the “Rule of Two” whenever it buys anything would “hamper mundane purchases like ‘griddles or food slicers.’”

As a side note, I looked for a while to get better coverage of the decision for readers, and out of my more morbid curiosity as to who is covering what.

Would it surprise you to know Russia Times is giving more in-depth coverage of this issue than Military Times, The Hill, and numerous other American based news networks.

How amazing are these times we live in when we get better news coverage from our Cold War enemies about how our country treats our veteran than American news sources?

Source: https://www.rt.com/usa/347054-disabled-vets-supreme-court/

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25 Comments

  1. “[…It has also rejected the department’s argument that requiring it to apply the “Rule of Two” whenever it buys anything would “hamper mundane purchases like ‘griddles or food slicers.]”

    The VA probably meant to mention ‘Document Slicers/Shredders’ rather than ‘food slicers’ and I think the VA is underway in “redefining” anything and everything their Team Of Attorneys plan to undermine and cheat Veterans out of preferential contracts, and are simply pushing the parameters of that thing called Accountability.

    This was a cold calculated gamble by the VA that they simply remain ABOVE THE LAW OF LAND.

    How about a resounding, “YOU ARE FIRED”!!!!!!?

    Is this Sloan Gibson’s new VA version of Accountability? Storm Troopers, Incorporated?!! 🙂

    • Namnibor,

      Maybe not the Gibson way but certainly the VA version of Accountability under McDonald.

      The same version of Accountability McDonald and the VA are trying to institutionalize before the election turn over as mentioned in the article by Dan Verton.

      “VA Rushing to Institutionalize Change Before Massive Election Turnover”
      published Jun 7, 2016

      “https://www.meritalk.com/articles/va-rushing-to-institutionalize-change-before-massive-election-turnover/”

      I just love the way they are going to lobby the VSOs leadership.

      “Enshrined In Policy — VA’s strategy for sustaining momentum for the MyVA transformation effort involves documenting progress for endorsement by Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs). Once the election is over, VA transition teams would then visit VSO offices to get input for the next crop of VA leadership candidates.”

      ***********************************************
      Hey special message to all the VSO leadership Don’t sell out cheap.

      To the VSOs leadership members get your hands ready to receive some big cash from McDonald. Him and his Disneyland approach to health care are on the way out the door and he knows it. Don’t sell out cheap make sure you get triple bonuses and major pay-raises for your leadership betrayal of Veterans. Let them know that your helping to sell out Veterans and supporting the VA and the AFGE in sell the plan of replacing doctors with Nurses doesn’t come cheap.

      Lets not forget all the work the leadership of the VSOs have been doing to prevent Veterans from getting health care outside of the VA. Why you no account chicken hawk Mfs in VSO leadership should get at least triple your current salaries for that sellout alone. After all it is only us veterans that are disabled and dying by the health care and I am sure you members of leadership know better than to rely on VA Healthcare for your own personal care.

      ************************************************

      I also like how LaVerne Council know she is out of job as soon as the election is over another quote from the article.

      “Senior leadership meeting minutes show that Council is also concerned about VA’s various business units “not making a full commitment to execute” on the agency’s transformation strategy. “Ms. Council is also worried about regression once she leaves,” the MyVA Advisory Committee Meeting minutes state.”

      • Seymore

        This is only contingent on WHO wins the November election!
        If it’s “Hildabeast”, don’t expect anything to change!

      • Sloan Gibson not long ago actually TOLD Congress that…”the VA was *redefining* what the word “accountability” means according to the VA’s needs.” (paraphrased and was an article on here as well)

        The VA is simply making-up their own rules while breaking their own Mission and Directives Mandated By Congress. I do not have the link as I have too much going on at the moment so just Google it or search on ben’s blog.

      • Hey Elf,

        Personally I don’t think that there is any real way possible for Hillary to get into office but just for a moment lets say she did. You know for a fact that McDonald’s job has already been sold to highest bidder.

        Most certainly the VA would belong to Big Pharma end of story for all veterans.

        Also Namnibor,

        Your right about “The VA is simply making-up their own rules while breaking their own Mission and Directives Mandated By Congress”

        Ben’s post on that subject is:

        “Veterans Affairs Official Lectures Congress On ‘Accountability’
        December 10, 2015 by Benjamin Krause

        “https://www.disabledveterans.org/2015/12/10/veterans-affairs-official-lectures-congress-about-accountability/”

  2. According to the law, the Supreme Court had NO CHOICE but to find – in favor of the “small – disabled veterans – business’!”

    As far as the “Russia Times” is concerned. I’ll wager they, and other “enemy/friend news sources” are “…giving more in-depth coverage…” of a lot more “issues” than just “…how veterans are being treated…”!

    Think about how our “MSM”, (Main Stream Media), “spins the truth”! How they -EITHER, never “cover the full issue”,
    OR, they never report any issue(s) that affect Americans!
    Basically, tell a lie continuously enough and “hope the public buys it!” It looks like millions of idiots out there ARE BUYING IT!

    Our Constitution IS under full and complete attack. People better wake the fuck up.
    Here’s two such examples:

    Some Senator, (Democrat), yesterday or the day before, said “…we need to get rid of ‘due process'”!
    (This IS one of our Constitutional Rights he’s wanting to abolish!)

    Another idiot Senator (Democrat) two days ago said, (paraphrasing), anyone could go to a gun show and purchase an fully automatic gun, and not wait the three day period!
    (He didn’t do his “due diligence”, because that violates a 1934 law prohibiting ownership of an fully automatic weapon. Unless, certain criteria is met! Try to purchase one.)

    There’s definitely more going on out there! All one has to do is look!
    It isn’t just veterans under attack! It’s EVERYONE in America!

  3. Hey Namnibor & Elf

    Speaking about VA accountability this just published:

    “VA won’t use its fast-track firing powers anymore”
    Leo Shane III, Military Times 9:19 a.m. EDT June 17, 2016

    “http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/06/17/va-fast-track-firing-powers-dumped/86028320/”

    Looks like McDonald and the rest of the Political appointees feel implementing accountability would be bad for the VA. They are already looting as fast as they can before being replaced after the election. Having to take time covering up their tracks to prevent accountability would stand in the way of their reforming their bank accounts to hold larger amounts with more digits.

    ~

    • They better leave the country. Then go somewhere that doesn’t have extradition laws. Because once Trump gets in, all hell is going to break lose on all these useless asswipes!
      I hope I’m alive to witness all of the punk ass idiots being tried for “Crimes Against Humanity” and possibly being tried for “Treasonous Acts against AMERICANS!”

      What I mean by that is. I hope the VA doesn’t murder me!

  4. Yea Donald Duck Trump is going to save the Fuckn Day for Vets huh? Low information Vet Voters or only

    From Fixed News for Idiots Voters, Look at the Past few Weeks where this Chronic Lying Bastard whom

    Tried to keep Donations for Vets in the tune of 6 mill when the Media asked him Which Organizations he

    gave/donated the Money to Ole Chronic One Said, Its Private Information? Donations? So a week or so

    later they asked The Masses Fearless Misleader again he said he had given the money to about 40

    organizations and gave them names Huh? How things come together when asked again, So the

    Liberal Media contacted around 30 or so of the organizations that he listed and everyone of the 30

    they contacted said the Checks were POST DATED!!! Meaning for some of you Slower Vets he cut

    the Checks the Next day Cause he never was intending on Donating the Money anyway until the

    Liberal Media started asking questions!!! BOTH CANDIDATES ARE HORRRRRIBLE SO PLEASE

    STOP HAILING TRUMP AS THE GREAT WHITE HOPE!!!! When you have 2 of the Most Horrible

    Candidates Running For Office I can only see America in a Fkn Free Fall…..

    • How about not demeaning Veterans’ intelligence and putting down Vets for choosing whomever candidate we want to support?
      I almost could give you a free pass until you started insinuating “for you SLOW Vets…”, as you need to realize that this is a Disabled Veterans Blog…meaning, such comments can easily seem callous, at best, and we have a collective of VERY INFORMED Veterans. Whomever ANYONE chooses to vote for/support, is a very personal thing and those jumping up and down in fear the sky is falling because Trump just might be the next President…well, if you are free of corruption and fraud, you have nothing to worry about, otherwise, you very well could be a fat cat VA Employee or Union Thug protecting your cookie jar in which you rubbed the word Veteran off of.

      Also, keep in mind that MANY Vets suffer from various CHRONIC health conditions to include TBI and PTSD, to name just but a few. Calling Veterans “slow” just shows where YOUR morale compass is pointed…hint: it’s very HOT down there where it’s pointed.

      • @namnibor

        Well said brother!

        In my opinion ‘mark’ is nothing more than a “TROLL”. Who wants to do “harm to as many disabled veterans as possible!”

        I believe he’s nothing more than a “TROLL” looking to gain self notoriety or self gratification by belittling disabled veterans!

        Like you said, namnibor, he’s probably a VA employee or AFGE member!
        If not, then he’s probably a ‘young person’. Who has a lot of “growing up” to do!

      • Right on the Mark Sir!
        I Found his comments insulting and I noticed he did not mention an alternative. Semper Fi,still fighting PTSD and Agent Orange.

    • @marks,

      are you saying the other side of the isle or the current WH has transparently and done a better job helping to fix the chronic scams at the VA/VBA?

      yes, i see you wrote “2 of the Most Horrible Candidates…”, i’m gonna finishing writing anyways.

      To be certain, I’m not just writing of current Congress and WH either. These issues go back decades and no one at VA or Congress has done squat to fix the long list of issues. A few outlier situations got helped certainly, but generally speaking, the answer is no.

      You are way out of your depth if you think all this just a “Trump” or “Hillary” issue.

      VA/VBA has been screwing veterans for decades. Feel free to sit down with any of the thousands if not millions of veterans, and you may well be one, who tried to get correct diagnosis & rightful disability, with their attorney(s) and the veteran mil & VA med records and argue your point. You’ll lose before you get started.

      I’ll grant you are correct including hillary as a “fkn free fall”. If our WH and Congress has attempted to listen and hear the concerns of millions of citizens over the years, versus their monied handlers, we wouldn’t need someone speaking as Mr Trump does. Its a hair better than the clinton thuggery. Might as well add that sanders was/is chairman of Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Gee, what a choice veterans and America have with him, huh? I think he took care of the VA more so than the veteran patient community. Though on CNN “anderson cooper 360”, sanders boasts a different image of it than I have in my perspective.

      i’m willing to bet hillary’s slush fund is way more corrupt than anything trump has done. you see the list of “funders”, yes?

      “Low information Vet Voters…”, come on, you really want to go there? Again, you’ll lose before you get started.

      There are some seriously smart and wise veterans, young and not so young, though i will exclude john mccain and that kerry fellow.

  5. Benjamin: You asked: “Did they really believe they could ignore the law, or did they do it because they did not believe they would get caught?”

    Answer: BOTH, A & B would be the correct answer here. God Syndrome + Arrogance on steroids with the VA.

      • Anytime the hot topic of the day may infer a threat to a troll’s cookie jar is akin to accidentally stepping on a cat’s tail…trolls cannot help themselves…but they indeed DO, to $$$ intended for Veteran’s Care…it’s their “Precious”! 🙂 🙂

  6. I don’t know how the rest of you might feel but the idea that the VAMC in Fort Harrison Montana is displaying a gay pride flag for a month does bother me. I believe that is wrong and should not be on display at the VAMC.

    With the VA trying to start providing gender reassignment surgeries and support now hanging flags to support a gay life style that has nothing to do with the men and women that have served this country. I just feel this is bull shit and very wrong.

    It is as if the VA is trying to make all veterans look gay or so fricken screwed in the head that we all want to change our gender. Personally I feel this is a major insult to all who have served.

    “Pride flag displayed at Fort Harrison”

    “http://www.krtv.com/story/32250383/pride-flag-displayed-at-fort-harrison”

  7. I want to enforce my position over what’s really transpiring within our government. Especially since it concerns our Constitution AND OUR Constitutional Rights!
    These articles have recently come out on “conservative news sources”!
    The MSM has ignored the plight of all Americans. No matter what our views are, the MSM has been infiltrated by the “Left Wing Radical Liberal Democrats!”
    Here are three articles to google:

    1.) “Howard Stern on Orlando”
    published on Jun 15, 2016
    It’s on Utube – a voice recording of his show.
    It’s not what you think. Stern gives a brilliant “Sheep Anology (Dogs, Wolves)” on how America is being tricked by the left!

    ____________________________

    2.) “DHS in charge of gun control? What could go wrong?”
    Jun 17, 2016 by Bob Livingston.

    Yes indeed. Just what could go wrong? After you’ve read the article, you should understand exactly WHAT ~WILL~ GO WRONG!
    Besides removing our “Constitutional Right of owning a weapon, (2nd Amendment), AND “Due Process”, (I believe the 4th or 5th Amendment), DHS has an abysmal record on immigration, amoung other things!

    ____________________________

    Lastly, and since ‘Seymore Klearly’ brought it up. This last article, with video, is a must watch. If you believe “Moderate Muslims are NOT a threat to Gays, (or anyone actually), in America”, think again! IMHO, gays should have the same rights as all citizens. They should receive NO special treatment! Whether they are, or not, is up to the Supreme Court!

    3.) “Dear Gays: The Left Betrayed You for Islam (video)”
    Jun. 16, 2016 by Dylan

    Just a few short weeks before Bateem, or whatever his name is, went on a “killing spree at the Pulse Nightclub”. The “top asswipe” of the Mosque he attended, “…called for the extermination of gays…”!
    Watch the video. Then y’all might realize there is NO SUCH ANIMAL AS A MODERATE MUSLIM!!!!

  8. Thanks Ben for all you’ve done, like showing how corrupt the VA is. Hope someday someone will come to Alabama and help the Veterans here. Every part of Alabama government is crooked. VA, as bad as it is, isn’t the worst hospital in this State. The county I live in, you can buy anyone; judges, DA’s, police, he’ll, even the Super of schools is known to steal thousands. Oh, to Crazy Self, they all republicans. No liberals here.

    • @Jo3n

      I agree! NO Libturds on this site. Unless one counts the “VA Trolls and AFGE members”!

      Here’s another video I would suggest visiting. It’s on Utube lasting 13:18 min.

      Titled:

      “Obama Ordered DELETION of Terrorist List! DHS Whistleblower Exposes Obama”

      published on Jun 16, 2016
      on “FOX News”

      I would have titled it, “A Petulant President!”, if I had my way!

      The DHS Whistleblower was one of “…founding members of DHS”. So, in retrospect, I do believe his “comments” should be concidered, not only plausible, FACTUAL!
      IF Obama had NOT stopped the investigations on (possible Radical) Mosques. I believe many of those murdered would still be alive today!
      I also believe this will be the turning point for our “Left Wing Radical Liberal Libturds”, (ie: Democrats and Republicans), to try their best to remove the “Constitution AND Bill of Rights” from America!
      We will then NO LONGER BE A SOVEREIGN NATION! This wonderful “Science Experiment”, as Ben Franklin called it, will no longer exist!

    • It also shows how VA Hospitals wind up with bad out of date technology and construction that runs decades over budget. Shut ’em all down.

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