United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 03, 2023

§ 657f.
Procurement program for small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans
(a)
Contracting officer defined

For purposes of this section, the term “contracting officer” has the meaning given such term in section 2101 of title 41.

(b)
Certification of small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans
With respect to a procurement program or preference established under this chapter that applies to prime contractors, the Administrator shall—
(1)
certify the status of a concern as a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans; and
(2)
require the periodic recertification of such status.
(c)
Sole source contracts
In accordance with this section, a contracting officer may award a sole source contract to any small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans if—
(1)
such concern is determined to be a responsible contractor with respect to performance of such contract opportunity and the contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that 2 or more small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans will submit offers for the contracting opportunity;
(2)
the anticipated award price of the contract (including options) will not exceed—
(A)
$7,000,000, in the case of a contract opportunity assigned a standard industrial classification code for manufacturing; or
(B)
$3,000,000, in the case of any other contract opportunity; and
(3)
in the estimation of the contracting officer, the contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable price.
(d)
Restricted competition

In accordance with this section, a contracting officer may award contracts on the basis of competition restricted to small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans certified under subsection (b) if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that not less than 2 small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair market price.

(e)
Relationship to other contracting preferences

A procurement may not be made from a source on the basis of a preference provided under subsection (a) or (b) if the procurement would otherwise be made from a different source under section 4124 or 4125 of title 18 or chapter 85 of title 41.

(f)
Database of veteran-owned businesses
(1)
Subject to paragraphs (2) through (6), the Administrator shall maintain a database of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, and the veteran owners of such business concerns.
(2)
(A)
To be eligible for inclusion in the database, such a veteran shall submit to the Administrator such information as the Administrator may require with respect to the small business concern or the veteran. Application for inclusion in the database shall constitute permission under section 552a of title 5 (commonly referred to as the Privacy Act) for the Administrator to obtain from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs such personal information maintained by the Secretary as may be necessary to verify the information contained in the application.
(B)
For purposes of this subsection—
(i)
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall—
(I)
verify an individual’s status as a veteran or a service-disabled veteran; and
(II)
establish a system to permit the Administrator to access, but not alter, the verification of such status; and
(ii)
the Administrator shall verify—
(I)
the status of a business concern as a small business concern; and
(II)
the ownership and control of such business concern.
(C)
The Administrator may not certify a concern under subsection (b) or section 657f–1 of this title if the Secretary of Veterans Affairs cannot provide the verification described under subparagraph (B)(i)(I).
(3)
Information maintained in the database shall be submitted on a voluntary basis by a veteran described in paragraph (1).
(4)
The Administrator shall make the database available to all Federal departments and agencies and shall notify each such department and agency of the availability of the database.
(5)
If the Administrator determines that the public dissemination of certain types of information maintained in the database is inappropriate, the Administrator shall take such steps as are necessary to maintain such types of information in a secure and confidential manner.
(6)
(A)
If a small business concern is not included in the database because the Administrator does not certify the status of the concern as a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans (under section 657f–1 of this title) or a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans (under subsection (g) of this section), the concern may appeal the denial of certification to the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Administration (as established under section 634(i) of this title). The decision of the Office of Hearings and Appeals shall be considered a final agency action.
(B)
(i)
If an interested party challenges the inclusion in the database of a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans or a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans based on the status of the concern as a small business concern or the ownership or control of the concern, the challenge shall be heard by the Office of Hearings and Appeals as described in subparagraph (A). The decision of the Office of Hearings and Appeals shall be considered final agency action.
(ii)
In this subparagraph, the term “interested party” means—
(I)
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs or the Administrator; or
(II)
in the case of a small business concern that is awarded a contract, the applicable contracting officer or another small business concern that submitted an offer for the contract that was awarded to the small business concern that is the subject of a challenge made under clause (i).
(g)
Certification requirement

Notwithstanding subsection (c), a contracting officer may only award a sole source contract to a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans or a contract on the basis of competition restricted to small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans if such a concern is certified by the Administrator as a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.

(h)
Enforcement; penalties
(1)
Verification of eligibility
In carrying out this section, the Administrator shall establish procedures relating to—
(A)
the filing, investigation, and disposition by the Administration of any challenge to the eligibility of a small business concern to receive assistance under this section (including a challenge, filed by an interested party, relating to the veracity of a certification made or information provided to the Administration by a small business concern under subsection (b)); and
(B)
verification by the Administrator of the accuracy of any certification made or information provided to the Administration by a small business concern under subsection (b).
(2)
Examinations

The procedures established under paragraph (1) shall provide for a program of examinations by the Administrator of any small business concern making a certification or providing information to the Administrator under subsection (b), to determine the veracity of any statements or information provided as part of such certification or otherwise provided under subsection (b).

(3)
Enforcement; penalties
Rules similar to the rules of paragraphs (5) and (6) of section 637(m) of this title shall apply for purposes of this section and section 657f–1 of this title.
(i)
Provision of data

Upon the request of the Administrator, the head of any Federal department or agency shall promptly provide to the Administrator such information as the Administrator determines to be necessary to carry out subsection (b) or to be able to certify the status of the concern as a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans under section 657f–1 of this title.

(Pub. L. 85–536, § 2[36], as added Pub. L. 108–183, title III, § 308, Dec. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 2662; amended Pub. L. 116–283, div. A, title VIII, §§ 862(b)(2), (d)(1), 864(3), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 3778, 3779, 3785.)
cite as: 15 USC 657f