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Opening Statement of Hon. Joe Donnelly, Ranking Democratic Member, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

The tough economic times make it as important as ever to properly address oversight, programmatic, policy concerns, and thoroughly review the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business or SDVOSB certification process.

Providing contracting opportunities to our deserving Veterans through the SDVOSB process is important, but when you have a successful program such as the VA’s small business contracting program awarding millions of dollars, it attracts non-veteran business owners whose intentions are unfortunately to commit fraud.  This is why it’s important for the VA to implement and enforce fraud prevention measures. 

During this joint hearing, I will look for the following: an overview of VA’s preventive measures and monitoring control to minimize vulnerability to fraud, VA’s debarment procedures, staff training to identify and monitor potential fraud, VA’s verification process such as how they verify SDVOSBs and the purpose  of conducting unannounced site visits.  These are just some of the few items I have in today’s agenda.  I believe that unless we remedy these concerns, the same problems that have haunted the VA’ verification program will remain.