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VA VetBiz System on Hiatus in August

UPDATE: Via a release issued today (August 5), the CVE has shortened the announced “down” time by one week. According to the latest news, the system will only be on hiatus until Monday, August 15th. This is good news for those going through reverification and getting close to expiration.

For those of you who are going through the reverification or verification process to be included in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) VetBiz Registry (its database of small business contractors eligible for veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned set-asides), you might want to get a move on.

Commencing at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11th, and ending at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 22nd, the VetBiz system will be down. During this period, firms will not have access to their profiles and the CVE will not be able to process applications. Firms will not be able to commence the reverification process or submit a change request to modify any aspect of the firm’s profile/status. Additionally, the CVE will be unable to accept new verification applications.

In a notice sent out in mid-July to firms already in the VetBiz Registry, the CVE encouraged firms whose eligibility expires before October 15, 2016 – and firms that desire to update their information – to take action as soon as possible, as the CVE will not grant any extensions of eligibility due to this temporary hiatus.

This comes at an unfortunate time, as this is the end of the Government’s fiscal year, when contract solicitations and awards increase. Also, the notice was sent out only three weeks in advance of the hiatus.

So, why the need? According to the email blast: “The VA Veterans First verification program is undergoing a transformation in response to feedback provided by Veteran-owned Small Businesses. The modifications and enhancements will result in significant changes to our application process to improve the Veteran experience as we establish “My VA Verification.””

I’m not sure if the explanation given could be more vague, but I did some digging to find out what constitutes “My VA Verification.” Apparently, the VA is changing the examination phases of the application process, now requiring firms to go through a “pre-qualification” stage before undergoing a comprehensive evaluation.

As an attorney who regularly assists with these applications, I will say I’m not too thrilled with this development. A few years ago, the CVE was making some serious headway in making the application process easier; but requiring a company to go through both “pre-qualification” and an actual examination amplifies the work and complexity for both the CVE and the firm. Also, for those who have gone through the process already, and learned from trial and error, they might not be too happy to now have to master another process.

There are good intentions here, but we’ll see about execution. If you want to take a look at My VA Verification and offer your comments below based on your experience, please chime in!

*Did you find this article informative? If so, sign up for Sarah Schauerte’s legal blog on veteran issues at: http://www.legalmeetspractical.com.

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3 Responses to “VA VetBiz System on Hiatus in August”

  1. Keel-haul the traitorous bleepards.

  2. No, really, we’re simplifying it. Please stop laughing. Really. This is going to make it easier for everyone. It will only add 3.2 hours of work to the prequal forms process, but they will look so much nicer and be easier to read. “I think the Ex-Military, or former military, or Veterans or whatever they like to be called now will really like them,” said Mr. Daniel Jackson, Chief of the Veteran Support Group, Veterans Benefits Administration, Headquarters, VA. “And it really will make it much easier for us to ask many additional questions as we move into the next qualification phase,” said Jackson.

    “So you shouldn’t be laughing. This is a very serious attempt at making a difficult process simpler, smoother, and faster for everyone concerned,” Jackson concluded as he walked off the stage to loud laughter.

  3. Somehow I don’t think this will work out as intended….

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