Current and New Policy Veterans First July 25, 2016

7. Current and New Policy: This section provides highlights of current and new policy for affected VAAR parts and sections.

a. Definitions of Words and Terms. (Attachment 1—VAAR part 802)

1) Current Policy: Definition section of VAAR excludes some definitions necessary to implement the Veterans First Contracting Program. In addition, some definitions need revisions in order to reflect the Veterans First Contracting Program.

2) New Policy: New definitions were added and some definitions are revised to define words and phrases unique to the Veterans First Contracting Program. Therefore, this class deviation changes VAAR 802.101 as follows:

• Adds the definition for Public Law (Pub. L.) 109-461;
• Replaces the definition for Service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB);
• Adds the definition for VA Rule of Two;
• Replaces the definition for Vendor Information Pages (VIP);
• Adds the definition for Veterans First Contracting Program; and
• Replaces the definition for Veteran-owned small business (VOSB).

b. Administrative Matters. (Attachment 2—VAAR part 804)

1) Current Policy: VAAR 804.1102 is deleted and replaced by VAAR 804.1103-70 Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database to align with FAR 4.1103.

2) New Policy: Requires service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses to be listed as verified in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database to receive awards under the Veterans First Contracting Program. Therefore, this class deviation adds VAAR 804.1103-70.

c. Competition Requirements. (Attachment 3—VAAR part 806)

1) Current Policy: Use of multiple award schedules for the multiple award schedule program of the General Services Administration (GSA) is a competitive procedure.

2) New Policy: Awards made using the multiple award schedules program of the GSA, including the VA Federal Supply Schedule Program, are competitive. When a set-aside is restricted to verified SDVOSBs or VOSBs according to the authorities of 819.7005 and 819.7006, such awards constitute full and open competition, after exclusion of sources pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 8127. Therefore, this class deviation adds the following sections to VAAR part 806:

 • VAAR 806.102;
• VAAR 806.203-70; and
• VAAR 806.302-5-70.

d. Required Sources of Supplies and Services. (Attachment 4—VAAR part 808)

1) Current Policy: VAAR 808-002-70, per class deviation dated May 5, 2016, includes VA prime-vendor, national and VA FSS contracts as mandatory sources. There is no VAAR 808.004 to address non-mandatory sources. There is no current VAAR subpart 808.4 language implementing the Veterans First Contracting Program to the Federal Supply Schedules.

2) New Policy: This class deviation rescinds class deviation—VAAR part 808 dated May 5, 2016 and moves VA mandatory contract vehicles to VAAR 808.004-70 as non-mandatory, while retaining priority over other existing contract vehicles. This class deviation adds VAAR 808.002, 808.004-70, 808.405-70, 808.405-2 and 808.405-70 to fully implement the Veterans First Contracting Program as it relates to VAAR part 808, Required Sources of Supplies and Services including the Federal Supply Schedules.

e. Market Research. (Attachment 5—VAAR part 810)

1) Current Policy: When conducting market research, VA contracting teams shall use the VIP database, at http://www.VetBiz.gov, in addition to other sources of information.

2) New Policy: The Veterans First Contracting Program applies to all VA contracts and takes precedence over other small business programs. This class deviation also provides an updated website for the VIP database. This class deviation adds this new policy at VAAR 810.001-70.

f. Acquisition of Commercial Items. (Attachment 6—VAAR part 812)

1) Current Policy: When a policy in another part of the VAAR differs from a policy in VAAR part 812, part 812 applies to the acquisition of commercial items.

2) New Policy: If the policy in VAAR part 812 differs from the policy in VAAR subpart 819.70, the policies in VAAR subpart 819.70 apply. This class deviation adds this new policy at VAAR 812.102-70. 

g. Simplified Acquisition Procedures. (Attachment 7—VAAR part 813)

1) Current Policy: Agencies shall use simplified acquisition procedures to the maximum extent practicable for all purchases of supplies or services not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold (including purchases at or below the micro-purchase threshold). 2) New Policy: The Veterans First Contracting Program in VAAR subpart 819.70 applies to VA contract actions under VAAR part 813 and has precedence over other small business programs in FAR part 19. Therefore, this class deviation changes VAAR part 813 as follows:

• Adds VAAR 813.003-70;
• Adds VAAR 813.102;
• Replaces VAAR 813.106-70; and
• Replaces VAAR 813.203.

h. Special Contracting Methods. (Attachment 8—VAAR part 817)

1) Current Policy: Any contract, memorandum of understanding, agreement, or other arrangement with any governmental entity to acquire goods and services, shall include in such contract, memorandum, agreement, or other arrangement a requirement that the entity will comply, to the maximum extent feasible, with the provisions of 38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128. Nothing in VAAR 817.501 shall be construed to supersede or otherwise affect the authorities provided under the Small Business Act.

2) New Policy: As a result of updates to FAR subpart 17.5, VAAR 817.502 is not aligned with FAR 17.502. Any agreement or other arrangement with any governmental entity to acquire goods and services on behalf of VA by contract, shall comply with the Veterans First Contracting Program. Contracting officers shall award contracts to verified and qualified SDVOSBs and VOSBs included in the VIP database. This class deviation replaces the language in VAAR 817.502 in its entirety and renumbers this section as 817.501.

i. Small Business Programs. (Attachment 9—VAAR part 819)

1) Current Policy: VAAR subpart 819.70 implements 38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128 as the Veterans First Contracting Program.

2) New Policy: Amends implementation of the Veterans First Contracting Program to include emphasizing attainment of the Secretary’s annual goals for SDVOSBs/VOSBs does not limit the applicability of the Veterans First Contracting Program. Additionally, VAAR part 819 details full implementation of the Veterans First Contracting Program to give preference to SDVOSBs and VOSBs for all VA contracts and contracts on behalf of VA. This class deviation revises VAAR subpart 819.70 to fully implement the Veterans First Contracting Program to comply with 38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128 and the Supreme Court decision.

j. Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses. (Attachment 10—VAAR part 852)

1) Current Policy: SDVOSBs and VOSBs must be listed in the VIP database, available at http://www.VetBiz.gov, and also must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR).

2) New Policy: All SDVOSBs and VOSBs participating in the Veterans First Contracting Program must be listed as verified in the VIP database at https://www.vip.vetbiz.gov/ to receive contract awards under the Veterans First Contracting Program as implemented in VAAR subpart 819.70. This class deviation revises provisions and clauses at VAAR 852.215-70, 852.219-10 and 852.219-11 to update the web address for the VIP database and to adjust the limitations on subcontracting to comply with Small Business regulations.

k. Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Health-Care Resources. (Attachment 11—VAAR part 873)

1) Current Policy: The simplified acquisition procedures in VAAR part 873 apply to the acquisition of health-care resources consisting of commercial services or the use of medical equipment or space. When a policy or procedure in the FAR or another part of the VAAR differs from the policy in VAAR part 873, part 873 shall apply.

2) New Policy: To the extent not otherwise excluded by law, the Veterans First Contracting Program in VAAR subpart 819.70 applies to VA contracts under VAAR part 873 and has precedence over other small business programs. Therefore, this class deviation revises VAAR 873.101 and VAAR 873.103 to reflect this policy.