Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program: Vulnerability to Fraud and Abuse Remains

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program remains vulnerable to fraud and abuse. VA has made inconsistent statements about its progress verifying firms listed in VetBiz using the more-thorough process the agency implemented in response to the Veterans Small Business Verification Act (2010 Act). In one communication, VA stated that as of February 2011, all new verifications would use the 2010 Act process going forward. However, as of April 1, 2012, 3,717 of the 6,178 SDVOSB firms (60 percent) listed as ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. August 1, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program remains vulnerable to fraud and abuse. VA has made inconsistent statements about its progress verifying firms listed in VetBiz using the more-thorough process the agency implemented in response to the Veterans Small Business Verification Act (2010 Act). In one communication, VA stated that as of February 2011, all new verifications would use the 2010 Act process going forward. However, as of April 1, 2012, 3,717 of the 6,178 SDVOSB firms (60 percent) listed as eligible in VetBiz had not been verified under the 2010 Act process. Of these 3,717 firms, 134 received $90 million in new VA SDVOSB set-aside or sole-source contract obligations from November 30, 2011, to April 1, 2012. While the 2010 Act did not include a deadline for verification using the more-thorough process, the presence of firms that have only been subjected to the less-stringent process that VA previously used represents a continuing vulnerability. VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that the less-stringent process was in many cases insufficient to establish control and ownership and in effect allowed businesses to self-certify as SDVOSBs with little supporting documentation. VA has taken some positive action to enhance its fraud prevention efforts by establishing processes in response to 6 of 13 recommendations GAO issued in October 2011, including conducting unannounced site visits to high-risk firms and developing procedures for referring suspicious SDVOSB applications to the OIG. VA has also begun action on some remaining recommendations, such as providing fraud awareness training and removing contracts from ineligible firms, though these procedures need to be finalized."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • August 1, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program: Vulnerability to Fraud and Abuse Remains, report, August 1, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc303046/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.