7. Key Definitions: The following definitions are important to the discussion of internal VA policy, procedures, guidance and instruction.
a. Program Office—In this PPM, a program office refers to the VA organization that will be the end user of a contracting requirement. A program office normally provides direct services to the public, or provides administrative, legal, financial, technological, or other support to offices that provide direct services to the public. A program office is staffed by one or more Federal employees, either dedicated exclusively to the program or as a collateral duty; is managed by at least one decision maker able to commit to a course of action on behalf of the office; and has a funding source that can be obligated in support of a contracting requirement. Except when it is acquiring supplies and services for its own use, a contracting office is not a program office.
b. VA Rule of Two— means the process in 38 U.S.C. 8127(d) whereby a contracting officer of the Department ”shall award contracts on the basis of competition restricted to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans will submit offers, and that the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price that offers the best value to the United States.” For purposes of this VA specific rule, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) or a veteran-owned small business (VOSB), must meet the eligibility requirements in 38 U.S.C. 8127(e), (f) and VAAR subpart 819.7003 and be listed as verified in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database.
c. Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database— means the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database at https://www.vip.vetbiz.gov . The site’s database lists businesses that the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) has determined eligible for the Veterans First Contracting Program.
d. Veterans First Contracting Program— means the program authorized by 38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128 (Pub. L. 109-461 as amended) implemented under VAAR subpart 819.70. This program applies to all VA contracts (see FAR 2.101, Definitions) including Blanket Purchase Agreements and orders against the Federal Supply Schedules, unless otherwise excluded by law.
e. Service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) — has the same meaning as Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concern defined in FAR subpart 2.101, except for acquisitions authorized by 38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128 for the Veterans First Contracting Program. These businesses must be listed as verified in the VIP database. In addition, some of the SDVOSB businesses listed in the VIP database may be owned and controlled by a surviving spouse. See definition of surviving spouse in VAAR 802.101.
f. Veteran-owned small business (VOSB) — has the same meaning as Veteran-owned small business concern (VOSB) defined in FAR 2.101, except for acquisitions authorized by 38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128 for the Veterans First Contracting Program. These businesses must be listed as verified in the VIP database. A business whose SDVOSB status derives from ownership and control by a surviving spouse shall also be considered a VOSB.