Link: GAO Opinion
Agencies: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Keywords: SDVO, Sole-source award
General Counsel, P.C. Highlight: The Veterans Administration may award a sole-source set aside contract under the terms of FAR Part 19.14, or, unique to the VA, under the terms of 38 U.S.C. § 8127, the Veterans First Contracting Program.
Apex Limited was the incumbent on a Veterans Administration (VA) grounds maintenance contract at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery. Shortly before the expiration of Apex’s contract, the VA awarded the follow-on contract to American Veteran Contracting Services (AVCS), a service disabled veteran owned company (SDVO), on a sole-source basis. Apex then protested, arguing that the sole-source award was in violation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 19.14 governing awards to SDVOs. GAO, however, found that FAR Subpart 19.14 did not apply to the type of acquisition in question. While FAR Subpart 19.14 applies to the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Procurement Program for most executive branch agencies, the award in this case was made pursuant to the Veterans First Contracting Program (VFCP), created by the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, which applies only to the VA.
GAO concluded that the sole source award to AVCS complied with the terms of the VFCP and that Apex had no basis for objecting to the award.