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Currently, there is little oversight to suppress and deter fraudulent pass-through or rent-a-vet businesses from benefiting from SDVOB status. In case studies that GAO conducted, it found that even when firms were found ineligible to receive a contract, they can still retain it because current regulations do not require that the contracting agency terminate the contract. Currently, neither Small Business Administration, except when responding to a protest, nor contracting officials are currently verifying the eligibility of firms claiming to be SDVOBs.

Mr. Mitchell concluded, “It is no secret that there are major deficiencies within VA’s procurement process, and to blame are a number of things, including a lack of a centralized acquisition structure, self policing policies in place that allow fraud and abuse, and continuous material weaknesses. Although I remain fairly optimistic that reform of this system can be accomplished, legislation to fix these problems may be necessary, along with change in policy and procedures.”

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, DC 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330; call 202/257-5446; or e-mail