The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Live from Capitol Hill: AMVETS to Testify on VA Contractor Compliance

This afternoon AMVETS National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof will testify before the House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity to discuss federal contractor compliance and, particularly, the state of VA oversight on contracts for veteran-owned small businesses.

To view live video of this afternoon's hearing, Click Here.

To view a list of this morning's witnesses and to read their prepared statements, Click Here.

Prior to joining AMVETS, Roof served as a small business consultant, bringing a wealth of knowledge on small business administration and contract compliance to her post at AMVETS.

Over the last two years, Roof has established herself as a subject matter expert on veteran-owned small businesses, or VOSBs, and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, or SDVOSBs, and VA's contracting processes.

During her testimony, Roof plans to discuss persistent shortcomings in the validation process for VOSBs and SDVOSBs and shortcomings in auditing, which have created a system rife for fraud within VA contracting.

Roof will also call on VA and Congress to establish more stringent rules and penalties for small businesses claiming veteran-owned status to ensure that truly veteran-owned small businesses receive the preferences in contracting they deserve.

Roof will also call on Congress to establish a centralized federal database for VOSBs and SDVOSBs to allow different departments to share information on small businesses eligible to execute federal contracts set aside for veterans.

Given the recent economic crisis and abysmal veteran unemployment statistics, Roof says that small businesses owners' efforts to exploit the system through dubious means like "rent-a-vet" are tantamount to stealing jobs from eligible veterans, and she hopes that Congress and VA will take the necessary steps to ensure contractor compliance and contract delivery moving forward.

American Veteran will continue to follow this story closely as it develops. Check back regularly for updates.

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