VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines, 27882-27883 [2013-11326]

Download as PDF 27882 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 92 / Monday, May 13, 2013 / Proposed Rules Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Dated: May 8, 2013. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2013–11287 Filed 5–10–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P I. Background DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 74 RIN 2900–AO63 VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines Department of Veterans Affairs. Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ACTION: SUMMARY: The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is currently reviewing its regulations governing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Program. OSDBU intends to improve the regulations to provide greater clarity, to streamline the program, and to encourage more VOSBs to apply for verification. By issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking, OSDBU seeks comments on how best to approach this undertaking. Although OSDBU identified specific issues for discussion below, it encourages commenters to discuss any issue related to improving these specific regulations and the program. DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 12, 2013. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or handdelivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026. (This is not a toll-free number.) Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘RIN 2900– AO63—VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines.’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1068, VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:16 May 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Leney, Executive Director, Center for Veterans Enterprise (00VE), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington DC 20420, (202) 461– 4300. (This is not a toll-free number.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. The Verification Regulations VA first published its regulations governing the VA VOSB Verification Program on February 8, 2010 (75 FR 6101), and most recently amended them on January 19, 2011 (76 FR 3022). The regulations are codified at 38 CFR part 74. These regulations were developed using the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) regulations governing the Government-wide Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program (13 CFR part 125) and the 8(a) Business Development Program (13 CFR part 124) for guidance generally with respect to Federal small business set-aside programs that involve agency verification. VA’s regulations lay out the criteria for determining a firm’s eligibility to participate in VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program that provides set-aside and sole source authority placing SDVOSBs and VOSBs as first and second priority in VA acquisitions from commercial sources under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program does not apply to other Federal agencies. B. Evaluation of Verification Regulations and Justification for the Rulemaking VA seeks to find an appropriate balance between preventing fraud in the Veterans First Contracting Program and providing a process that would make it easier for more VOSBs to become verified. The Verification Program has been the subject of reports from both the Government Accountability Office and VA’s Office of Inspector General stating that despite VA’s Verification Program, fraud still exists in the Veterans First Contracting Program. Some stakeholder feedback has been that the current regulations at 38 CFR part 74 are too open to interpretation and are unnecessarily more rigorous than PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 similar certification programs run by SBA. In addition to regulatory improvements, VA is also committed to making the verification process more efficient and less burdensome and creating greater clarity by providing improved training tools. The Verification Assistance Program currently consists of four parts aimed at helping veterans understand the regulation and how to bring their businesses into compliance in order to be eligible for Veterans First contracting opportunities. These include Verification Assistance Briefs that address the most common causes of eligibility denial and where the issues are found; a Verification SelfAssessment Tool that walks the veteran through the regulation and how it applies to the required documentation; Verification Assistance Partners consisting of veterans service organizations and other non-profit organizations to provide individual counseling services to veterans; and the Pre-Application Workshop that outlines what a veteran needs to know and do to put together a successful verification application. II. Questions for Comment VA is considering ways to improve the VA VOSB Verification Guidelines. VA has already collected suggestions from a wide range of sources for changes to the regulations, and has compiled them into a single document. This compilation document and the existing regulations can both be found at http:// www.vetbiz.gov. VA invites comments on the ideas offered in this compilation document as well as the following questions: 1. What could be changed to improve the clarity of the regulations? Where might bright lines be drawn to more clearly indicate compliance with the regulations and reduce potential for misinterpretation? Where might the addition of bright line tests create unintended consequences? 2. It has been suggested that VA should develop a list that would clearly delineate what constitutes ownership and control and what constitutes lack of control or ownership. Should a list like this be included in the rule, and if so, what should be on the list? 3. Are there changes to VA’s regulations that could be made to reduce the economic impact on VOSBs? 4. Are there changes to VA Form 0877 (application) that could streamline the process? 5. What verification process improvements could help to increase E:\FR\FM\13MYP1.SGM 13MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 92 / Monday, May 13, 2013 / Proposed Rules efficiency and reduce burden for VOSBs? 6. What additional training tools or assistance might be offered to create more clarity for stakeholders and help them more efficiently and effectively navigate the verification regulations? 7. What documents, records, or other materials could the Office for the Center for Veterans Enterprise use to distinguish legitimate VOSBs/SDVOSBs from businesses that fraudulently seek contracts from the Government? 8. Would a special Hotline to report suspected ineligible VOSBs/SDVOSBs help the Government ensure that contracts are awarded to legitimate VOSBs/SDVOSBs? Approved: May 7, 2013. Jose D. Riojas, Interim Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs. [FR Doc. 2013–11326 Filed 5–10–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R08–OAR–2012–0347; FRL–9813–3] Approval and Promulgation of State Implementation Plans; State of Montana; Interstate Transport of Pollution for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to partially approve and partially disapprove portions of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Montana that are intended to demonstrate that its SIP meets certain interstate transport requirements of the Clean Air Act (‘‘Act’’ or ‘‘CAA’’) for the 2006 fine particulate matter (‘‘PM2.5’’) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (‘‘NAAQS’’). This submission addresses the requirement that Montana’s SIP contain adequate provisions to prohibit air emissions from adversely affecting another state’s air quality through interstate transport. Specifically, EPA is proposing to partially approve and partially disapprove the portion of the Montana SIP submission that addresses the CAA requirement prohibiting emissions from Montana sources from significantly contributing to nonattainment of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state or interfering with maintenance of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS by any other state. EPA is also proposing to partially approve and VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:16 May 10, 2013 Jkt 229001 partially disapprove the portion of Montana’s submission that addresses the CAA requirement that SIPs contain provisions to insure compliance with specific other CAA requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. The partial disapprovals, if finalized, would not trigger an obligation for EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to address these interstate transport requirements as EPA is determining that the existing SIP is adequate to meet the specific CAA requirements. Comments must be received on or before June 12, 2013. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R08– OAR–2012–0347, by one of the following methods: • http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Email: clark.adam@epa.gov. • Fax: (303) 312–6064 (please alert the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT if you are faxing comments). • Mail: Carl Daly, Director, Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P– AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202–1129. • Hand Delivery: Carl Daly, Director, Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P– AR, 1595 Wynkoop, Denver, Colorado 80202–1129. Such deliveries are only accepted Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–R08–OAR–2012– 0347. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http:// www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA, without going through http:// www.regulations.gov, your email DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 27883 address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD–ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional instructions on submitting comments, go to Section I. General Information of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http:// www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly-available docket materials are available either electronically in http:// www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P–AR, 1595 Wynkoop, Denver, Colorado 80202–1129. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Clark, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mailcode 8P–AR, 1595 Wynkoop, Denver, Colorado 80202– 1129, (303) 312–7104, clark.adam@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Definitions For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or initials as follows: (i) The words or initials Act or CAA mean or refer to the Clean Air Act, unless the context indicates otherwise. (ii) The initials CAIR mean or refer to the Clean Air Interstate Rule (iii) The initials CSAPR mean or refer to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (iv) The words EPA, we, us or our mean or refer to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. E:\FR\FM\13MYP1.SGM 13MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 92 (Monday, May 13, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27882-27883]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11326]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 74

RIN 2900-AO63


VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization 
(OSDBU) is currently reviewing its regulations governing the Department 
of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) 
Verification Program. OSDBU intends to improve the regulations to 
provide greater clarity, to streamline the program, and to encourage 
more VOSBs to apply for verification. By issuing this notice of 
proposed rulemaking, OSDBU seeks comments on how best to approach this 
undertaking. Although OSDBU identified specific issues for discussion 
below, it encourages commenters to discuss any issue related to 
improving these specific regulations and the program.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 12, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through 
www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation 
Policy and Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 
Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 
273-9026. (This is not a toll-free number.) Comments should indicate 
that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO63--VA Veteran-
Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines.'' Copies of 
comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office 
of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1068, between the hours of 
8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). 
Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free 
number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed 
online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at 
www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Leney, Executive Director, Center 
for Veterans Enterprise (00VE), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 
Vermont Ave. NW., Washington DC 20420, (202) 461-4300. (This is not a 
toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. The Verification Regulations

    VA first published its regulations governing the VA VOSB 
Verification Program on February 8, 2010 (75 FR 6101), and most 
recently amended them on January 19, 2011 (76 FR 3022). The regulations 
are codified at 38 CFR part 74. These regulations were developed using 
the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations governing the 
Government-wide Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) 
program (13 CFR part 125) and the 8(a) Business Development Program (13 
CFR part 124) for guidance generally with respect to Federal small 
business set-aside programs that involve agency verification. VA's 
regulations lay out the criteria for determining a firm's eligibility 
to participate in VA's Veterans First Contracting Program that provides 
set-aside and sole source authority placing SDVOSBs and VOSBs as first 
and second priority in VA acquisitions from commercial sources under 
the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). VA's Veterans First 
Contracting Program does not apply to other Federal agencies.

B. Evaluation of Verification Regulations and Justification for the 
Rulemaking

    VA seeks to find an appropriate balance between preventing fraud in 
the Veterans First Contracting Program and providing a process that 
would make it easier for more VOSBs to become verified. The 
Verification Program has been the subject of reports from both the 
Government Accountability Office and VA's Office of Inspector General 
stating that despite VA's Verification Program, fraud still exists in 
the Veterans First Contracting Program. Some stakeholder feedback has 
been that the current regulations at 38 CFR part 74 are too open to 
interpretation and are unnecessarily more rigorous than similar 
certification programs run by SBA.
    In addition to regulatory improvements, VA is also committed to 
making the verification process more efficient and less burdensome and 
creating greater clarity by providing improved training tools. The 
Verification Assistance Program currently consists of four parts aimed 
at helping veterans understand the regulation and how to bring their 
businesses into compliance in order to be eligible for Veterans First 
contracting opportunities. These include Verification Assistance Briefs 
that address the most common causes of eligibility denial and where the 
issues are found; a Verification Self-Assessment Tool that walks the 
veteran through the regulation and how it applies to the required 
documentation; Verification Assistance Partners consisting of veterans 
service organizations and other non-profit organizations to provide 
individual counseling services to veterans; and the Pre-Application 
Workshop that outlines what a veteran needs to know and do to put 
together a successful verification application.

II. Questions for Comment

    VA is considering ways to improve the VA VOSB Verification 
Guidelines. VA has already collected suggestions from a wide range of 
sources for changes to the regulations, and has compiled them into a 
single document. This compilation document and the existing regulations 
can both be found at http://www.vetbiz.gov.
    VA invites comments on the ideas offered in this compilation 
document as well as the following questions:
    1. What could be changed to improve the clarity of the regulations? 
Where might bright lines be drawn to more clearly indicate compliance 
with the regulations and reduce potential for misinterpretation? Where 
might the addition of bright line tests create unintended consequences?
    2. It has been suggested that VA should develop a list that would 
clearly delineate what constitutes ownership and control and what 
constitutes lack of control or ownership. Should a list like this be 
included in the rule, and if so, what should be on the list?
    3. Are there changes to VA's regulations that could be made to 
reduce the economic impact on VOSBs?
    4. Are there changes to VA Form 0877 (application) that could 
streamline the process?
    5. What verification process improvements could help to increase

[[Page 27883]]

efficiency and reduce burden for VOSBs?
    6. What additional training tools or assistance might be offered to 
create more clarity for stakeholders and help them more efficiently and 
effectively navigate the verification regulations?
    7. What documents, records, or other materials could the Office for 
the Center for Veterans Enterprise use to distinguish legitimate VOSBs/
SDVOSBs from businesses that fraudulently seek contracts from the 
Government?
    8. Would a special Hotline to report suspected ineligible VOSBs/
SDVOSBs help the Government ensure that contracts are awarded to 
legitimate VOSBs/SDVOSBs?

    Approved: May 7, 2013.
Jose D. Riojas,
Interim Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2013-11326 Filed 5-10-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P