Kuster, Bergman Introduce Legislation Protecting Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
Washington, DC, May 30, 2017
This past week, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Chairman Jack Bergman (R-MI) introduced the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017 to protect Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Veteran Owned Small Businesses.
“Improving economic opportunity for veterans and directing federal contracts to veteran owned small businesses is one of the most effective ways we can support our servicemembers when they return to civilian life,” said Kuster. “We need to ensure that bad actors do not take advantage of programs intended to benefit our men and women who have served in uniform. I’m proud to join General Bergman in introducing this legislation that will protect veteran owned small businesses in VA’s contracting process.”
“An important step in making sure our veterans get the treatment they’ve earned from VA is targeting and weeding out fraud in the VA system,” said Bergman. “That’s why the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act is so important. It will protect Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses by giving VA power to identify and penalize bad actors who obtain contracts and collect profit while improperly ‘passing through’ all the work to other companies. The vast majority of these businesses are operating in earnest and working hard for their families and communities. Protecting those efforts is the right thing to do.”
The Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017 would require participants in the Vets First Program to certify that they are performing the required percentage of work and directs VA to refer suspected violators to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation. The bill also directs the VA Secretary to consider whether existing administrative and criminal penalties for fraudulent representation would apply in each case. Read more about this legislation here.