Last week, the House of Representatives voted to amend the Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) definition of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (“DBEs”) to include Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (“VOSBs”). This was accomplished by passing the “Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act of 2015” (the “Bill”). As the Bill states, its purpose is to improve contracting opportunities for veteran-owned small business concerns, and that is just what will happen if the Bill is signed into law.
If the Bill becomes law, VSOBs will be given preference on projects funded through the DOT, have more opportunities to be awarded contracts, and could, as subcontractors, contribute toward DBE hiring goals. This is great news for VSOBs and prime contractors, though some have expressed concern that it will adversely impact DBEs falling into other categories of disadvantaged businesses.
After passing the House last week, the Bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. We will keep you posted on its progress.
Edward T. DeLisle is Co-Chair of the Federal Contracting Practice Group. Ed frequently advises contractors on federal contracting matters including bid protests, claims and appeals, procurement issues, small business issues and dispute resolution.
Jacqueline J. Ryan is an Associate in the Federal Contracting Practice Group and focuses her practice on government contracts and construction litigation. She assists the Firm’s federal construction clients in matters involving contracts, bid protests, claim drafting and litigation in the federal courts.