The unanimous Supreme Court ruling rejects the VA's interpretation and restores to veterans broader competitive bidding opportunities.
In a ruling affecting billions of dollars of government contracts, and impacting tens of thousands of veteran-owned small businesses across the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld expanded competitive bidding opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses in Kingdomware Technologies v. United States, 14-916. [Note: Duane Morris LLP represented the National Veteran Small Business Coalition and several other national veterans organizations and individual veteran-owned businesses as amici curiae in support of Kingdomware. Duane Morris has a longstanding tradition and commitment to pro bono work on behalf of veterans.]
The unanimous ruling means that veterans now will have (as Congress intended) expanded opportunities to compete for business with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (“the Act”). The VA had argued for different limitations—not set forth in the statute itself—on the type and scope of contracts available for competitive bidding by and amongst veterans, and the Federal Circuit had allowed the VA to ignore the Act’s mandate for competitive bidding by veteran-owned small businesses. In practical terms, the VA’s interpretation resulted in roughly $10 billion of the VA’s $18 billion in annual purchases being exempt from the competitive bidding process by the veteran-owned small businesses that Congress had enacted. The unanimous Supreme Court ruling rejects that interpretation and restores to veterans the full competitive bidding opportunities that Congress intended.