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Frank Mancini - Signed Articles of Agreement February 28 2009, 14th Learner

United States Navy

This is my beginning to My Life, My Lineage, My First Paperback Book. I invite you to read my journey as I compose each chapter of the 14 Level Reintegration Program. My success is your success and our community's success. Thank you for your courage and support. To post comments you must register with our community. You can view this outline  I am using to map out my progess. Thank you for your comments, I value them.

  • Thursday, March 25, 2010 20:35 | Frank Mancini

    Onsite Examinations of Applicants for Verifcation

    Center for Veterans Enterprise

    We invite all Veterans to read the Mission Statement from the Center for Veterans Enterprises you would agree that their vision is second to none (Where We Are Going (Our Long-Range View). It is true that a physical (on-site) verification should be executed however we need not to revert to Machiavellian tactics by interpreting the law in such manner that it contradicts the mission that CVE set out to achieve.

    Before offering a possible solution it is important to address the objective of the current regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations, TITLE 38 CHAPTER I, PART 74, and the method currently used.

    OBJECTIVE: TO ESTABLISH THE MANAGEMENT CONTROLAND OPERATING STATUS OF THE BUSINESS OF SUBMISSION.

    Excerpt from: “THE Code of Federal Regulations, TITLE 38 CHAPTER I, PART 74”

                                    § 74.12   What must a concern submit to apply for VetBiz VIP Verification?

    “……verification examinations. These forms and attachments will include, but not be limited to, financial statements, Federal personal and business tax returns, payroll records and personal history statements. An applicant must also retain in the application file IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form. These materials shall be filed together to maximize efficiency of verification examination visits. Together with the electronic documents, these manual records will provide the CVE verification examiner with sufficient information to establish the management, control and operating status of the business on the date of submission.”

    CVE has the right to verify and “establish the management, control and operating status of the business on the date of submission.”

    However the scope of documents demanded by CVE in order to establish ownership is way too broad and superfluous in nature and at the expense of the Veteran and Service-Connected Disabled Veteran Small Business owner.

    There should be a finite number of documents and a defined and standardized methodology using the right tools, with courtesy and efficiency. Please note that ownership and control eligibility requirements are also defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, TITLE 13 CHAPTER I, PART 125 and that both Title 38 and Title 13 should not be in conflict with each other.

    The task that CVE has at hand is challenging and we should be proud of what this office has achieved to date. Many Veterans share a common frustration with the bureaucratic process as a whole whether at the VA Hospitals, a Veterans Service Center or at other government agencies. We ask CVE not to become another source of frustration or another bureaucratic maze and to be in tune with the Veteran small business community.

    We encourage CVE to address the following questions and to clearly define:

    Ø      How one determines the ownership of a company by an individual?

    Ø      How one determines is such individual is a Veteran?

    Ø      If a Veteran then; How one determines whether the Veteran has a disability rating or not?

    Rather than to blame a political party let’s all share the mission of the Center for Veteran Enterprise: “We will Transform America with Veterans First! through personal touch, compassion, connectivity and competence, because Veterans in Business are Still Serving America!.

    We would like to help CVE execute their mission, all of us share the mission, but like any mission its intent can be compromised by its execution. The letter/noticed sent by CVE is a bit harsh and intrusive rather than amicable and inviting, a dramatic shift from its mission. No appointments allowed, vague and demanding as if our participation is not needed and an appointment is not necessary. This attitude in conflict with the CVE mission, in its mission statement CVE and the staff are our friends, in its mission CVE wants to work together in harmony with the Veteran’s community, in its mission CVE would like to assist us and help us succeed: “We want veterans in business to be the best they can be and to perform each and every contract in an outstanding manner.”

    The list of documents needed by CVE to establish ownership has to be defined and the current loosely defined method takes away the sense of objectivity or gives the appearance of potential subjective interpretation of what is needed by the staff. This appearance does not reinforce the concern of CVE to restore the pride, hope and dreams of all American’s Veterans: Restore pride, hope and dreams for all of America’s veterans through business ownership, employment opportunities and community partnerships.

    The registration and verification demands of our respective State procurement agencies, CVE, CCR, GSA, the various government agencies, large primes and all of those entities that claim to have a diversity program for small businesses leave no time left to actually engage in business and the entire proposition to Veteran Owned Businesses is turning into a nightmare. There is no one business that is registered with all, it has been tried and it is impossible. To this end CVE is the solution that we have all been looking, to have only one database where all parties interested and/or required to engage with a qualified and verified Veteran Owned Small Business, would search. This would finally end the waste of time and money all of us have been subjected to and possibly close the largest the loop-hole scheme responsible for the lack of VOB and SDVOB participation in the public sector as a whole.

     

    CVE should definitely meet with each and every Veteran business owner for the purpose of delivering the products they have set out to deliver and during this meeting CVE should have a well defined list of demands that will establish ownership of the business and verify that the owner is indeed a Veteran as well as build a relationship with the Veteran by delivery those products CVE is set to deliver (please see list below).

    There are many different ways to check the legitimacy of a business, it is done every day, painlessly and with minimal intrusion, we are confident that CVE will find a way to accomplish “our” mission, while preserving the privacy and all of those rights afforded to the rest of the small business population. Should this level of scrutiny been applied to the large businesses, the financial industry and domestic automobile industry, we could have avoided our current situation. In addition to the verification process we propose a fraud reporting hot line where the Veteran small business community can call and report suspected fraud. Time and time again we run across scams and have no clear reporting channels.

    In conclusion, we agree with the intent of the verification process and invite CVE to align their actions and the policies with its mission. We support their commitment to the verification process and ask that this be accomplished by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability and stewardship.

    There will always be a better way together we can find the best way.

    Respectfully,

    Frank Mancini, President
    Elite SDVOB Network, Los Angeles Chapter

    Our Products

    http://www.vetbiz.gov/about/products.htm

    1. VetBiz.gov web portal information services offers convenient, two-way communications between government, corporate and owner communities.

    2. VetBiz.gov Vendor Information Pages database of verified businesses

    3. Toll-free business and procurement coaching support: This is the core of what we do. Call us when you have a question. Call us when you want clarification of what you already know. Call us when you think something is not right. We want to know what is happening with you as you try to sell your products and services to the Government or its prime contractors. We want to know what is happening with you as a government or corporate official trying to support this program. We especially want to hear from you with improvement ideas!! Veterans, call us toll-free at 1.866.584.2344, Monday-Friday, 7AM – 5PM Eastern Time.

    4. Free delivery of FedBizOpps notices and notices from VA’s Forecast of Contracting Opportunities, customized to your specifications

    n on-site inspection can be made when an award is made from the VA for example, the CVE representative The smarter method would be to inspect a company if an award is made hence reducing the burden on both the Veteran and the government.

    5. VetBiz.gov Assistance Program Pages database: find specialists who will help your business in Start-up, Finance, Training, Procurement and Business Development.

    6. Business Owners’ Toolkit: Keep the legislation, executive order, acquisition regulations, applicable code of federal regulations citations and other key files right on your flash drive or laptop. This helps when meeting individuals who are new or unfamiliar with the program. This product is co-branded with the General Services Administration.

    7. Customized Business Process maps: As a future or current business owner, you can face unknowns daily. We’re available to coach you to the next step and we’re good listeners. We like hearing what is happening with you because other owners may be looking at similar questions or obstacles. Our business map will help you figure out when to drive forward, when to slow down and when to turn in order to reach your destination.

    8. Customized market research reports: If you have money to spend, we want to help you make a decision to spend it with veteran-owned businesses. We know how busy acquisition teams can be, so we’ll run the database queries if you want us to do so.

    9. Customized awareness briefings and community outreach programs: next to our call center support, this may be the second most favorite thing we do. We travel to where you do business, meet face-to-face, learn what your life is really like and try to offer help. What’s not to like about that?

    10. VetFran: discounted franchising support through International Franchise Association franchisors; more than 1,000 veterans have taken advantage of this program since 2002.

    11. Trending reports: This is really good stuff. We are fierce in searching for numbers to trend. So far, we’ve published trend lines for Federal agencies’ SDVOSB achievements since Fiscal Year 2001. We’re hoping to get similar trend charts done for subcontracting achievements. We also do other work like monitor the growth of businesses over time. Sometimes, we scratch our heads and try to make sense of it all. Most of the time, we simply say “Aha! Look at that!”

    12. Awards and Recognition Programs: OK, forget everything that came before this. We really, really, like the awards program. We host this each year in June, on or around Flag Day. We honor Enterprising Veterans who exemplify the motto: Veterans in Business - Still Serving America! We celebrate the work of the advocates selected as Champions of Veterans Enterprise. While it may not be a big to-do by other award program standards, these ceremonies are very special to us.

    13. Our Briefing Materials: We have a great DVD library that explains our program. We have some really fantastic posters. We make these available at no charge to offices that want to visually display their support for veterans in business. We have some very professional Executive brochures and a nice product catalog that offers a lot of detail on our offerings. In addition, and these, too, are more favorites – we will customize a Then and Now poster for business owners (give us a photo of the owner in military uniform and a second photo as the business owner today), we will put the owner’s name and business name on it for posting at the company’s headquarters. This also works for contracting teams who make awards to these owners. Another offering for owners is the 3-minute video clip they can post to our database.

    Code of Federal Regulations, TITLE 38 CHAPTER I, PART 74

    § 74.12   What must a concern submit to apply for VetBiz VIP Verification?

    Each VetBiz VIP Verification applicant must submit the electronic forms and attachments CVE requires. All electronic forms are available on the VetBiz.gov Vendor Information Pages database Web pages. At the time the applicant dispatches the electronic forms, the applicant must also retain on file at the principal place of business a completed copy of the electronic forms supplemented by manual records that will be used in verification examinations. These forms and attachments will include, but not be limited to, financial statements, Federal personal and business tax returns, payroll records and personal history statements. An applicant must also retain in the application file IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form. These materials shall be filed together to maximize efficiency of verification examination visits. Together with the electronic documents, these manual records will provide the CVE verification examiner with sufficient information to establish the management, control and operating status of the business on the date of submission.

    (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control number 2900–0675)

    § 74.20   What is a verification examination and what will CVE examine?

    (a) General . A verification examination is an investigation by CVE officials, which verifies the accuracy of any statement or information provided as part of the VetBiz VIP Verification application process. Thus, examiners may verify that the concern currently meets the eligibility requirements, and that it met such requirements at the time of its application or its most recent size recertification. An examination may be conducted on a random basis, or upon receipt of specific and credible information alleging that a participant no longer meets eligibility requirements.

    (b) Scope of examination . CVE may conduct the examination, or parts of the program examination, at one or all of the participant's offices. CVE will determine the location of the examination. Examiners may review any information related to the concern's eligibility requirements including, but not limited to, documentation related to the legal structure, ownership and control of the concern. As a minimum, examiners shall review all documents supporting the application, as described in §74.12. These include: financial statements; Federal personal and business tax returns; personal history statements; and Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form (IRS Form 4506) for up to 3 years. Other documents, which may be reviewed include (if applicable): Articles of Incorporation/Organization; corporate by-laws or operating agreements; organizational, annual and board/member meeting records; stock ledgers and certificates; State-issued Certificates of Good Standing; contract, lease and loan agreements; payroll records; bank account signature cards; and licenses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, TITLE 13 CHAPTER I, PART 125

    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title13/13cfr125_main_02.tpl

    § 125.9   Who does SBA consider to own an SDVO SBC?

    A concern must be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by one or more service-disabled veterans. More specifically:

    (a) Ownership must be direct. Ownership by one or more service disabled veterans must be direct ownership. A concern owned principally by another business entity that is in turn owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans does not meet this requirement. Ownership by a trust, such as a living trust, may be treated as the functional equivalent of ownership by service-disabled veterans where the trust is revocable, and service-disabled veterans are the grantors, trustees, and the current beneficiaries of the trust.

    (b) Ownership of a partnership. In the case of a concern which is a partnership, at least 51% of every class of partnership interest must be unconditionally owned by one or more service-disabled veterans. The ownership must be reflected in the concern's partnership agreement.

    (c) Ownership of a limited liability company. In the case of a concern which is a limited liability company, at least 51% of each class of member interest must be unconditionally owned by one or more service-disabled veterans.

    (d) Ownership of a corporation. In the case of a concern which is a corporation, at least 51% of the aggregate of all stock outstanding and at least 51% of each class of voting stock outstanding must be unconditionally owned by one or more service-disabled veterans.

    (e) Stock options' effect on ownership. In determining unconditional ownership, SBA will disregard any unexercised stock options or similar agreements held by service-disabled veterans. However, any unexercised stock options or similar agreements (including rights to convert non-voting stock or debentures into voting stock) held by non-service-disabled veterans sill be treated as exercised, except for any ownership interests which are held by investment companies licensed under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958.

    (f) Change of ownership. A concern may change its ownership or business structure so long as one or more service-disabled veterans own and control it after the change.

    § 125.10   Who does SBA consider to control an SDVO SBC?

    (a) General. To be an eligible SDVO SBC, the management and daily business operations of the concern must be controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans (or in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran). Control by one or more service-disabled veterans means that both the long-term decisions making and the day-to-day management and administration of the business operations must be conducted by one or more service-disabled veterans (or in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran).

    (b) Managerial position and experience. A service-disabled veteran (or in the case of a service-disabled veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran) must hold the highest officer position in the concern (usually President or Chief Executive Officer) and must have managerial experience of the extent and complexity needed to run the concern. The service-disabled veteran manager (or in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran) need not have the technical expertise or possess the required license to be found to control the concern if the service-disabled veteran can demonstrate that he or she has ultimate managerial and supervisory control over those who possess the required licenses or technical expertise.

    (c) Control over a partnership. In the case of a partnership, one or more service-disabled veterans (or in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran) must serve as general partners, with control over all partnership decisions.

    (d) Control over a limited liability company. In the case of a limited liability company, one or more service-disabled veterans (or in the case of a veteran with permanent or severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran) must serve as managing members, with control over all decisions of the limited liability company.

    (e) Control over a corporation. One or more service-disabled veterans (or in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran) must control the Board of Directors of the concern. Service-disabled veterans are considered to control the Board of Directors when either:

    (1) One of more service-disabled veterans own at least 51% of all voting stock of the concern, are on the Board of Directors and have the percentage of voting stock necessary to overcome any super majority voting requirements; or

    (2) Service-disabled veterans comprise the majority of voting directors through actual numbers or, where permitted by state law, through weighted voting.
  • Thursday, March 25, 2010 20:31 | Frank Mancini

    The email below as you will notice was sent on 9/19/2009 to hundreds of SDVOSB in Californi. Please see the subsequent post in response to this letter.

    From: <vip@mail.va.gov>

    Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 15:50:20

    Subject: Onsite Examinations of Applicants for Verifcation

    Frank Mancini

    IRG Plotters &amp;ampamp Printers, Inc.

    Your company applied to have the Center for Veterans Enterprise CVE verify its Veteran-owned status under Public Law 109-461.  The Code of Federal Regulations, Part 38 Paragraph 74, authorizes CVE to examine ownership and control records to verify that businesses are eligible to participate in VA&#8217;s buying authority established under Public Law 109-461, Section 502 and 503. 

    The Center for Veterans Enterprise started conducting the onsite examinations this month September 2009.  You should be prepared for a team of one or more examiners to visit your company to examine the necessary documents and records.  The Team Leader will have a VA identification badge and a letter of introduction signed by the Director of the Center for Veterans Enterprise. 

    If you do not wish to participate in the onsite examination, you must officially notify the Center for Veterans Enterprise by the close of business September 18, 2009, by e-mail to VACVE@va.gov stating that your company is withdrawing its application for verification.  The email must state the company name to be withdrawn, and be sent by and signed by the Applicant Company&#8217;s majority owner. 

    Procurement provisions contained in Section 8127 of Title 38, U.S.Code, as amended by Public Law 109-461, provide Veteran-owned small businesses VOSBs and service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses SDVOSBs an option when registering their businesses in VIP be verified for ownership and control or self-represent. Businesses wishing to benefit from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VA&#8217;s unique Veterans First Contracting Program under Section 8127 must agree to be verified.  By applying for verification, you have elected to participate in this voluntary program.

    As outlined under 38 CFR &#167;74.28, &#8220;Personnel from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Veterans Enterprise CVE and its agents, including personnel from the Small Business Administration, may examine records to ascertain the ownership and control of the applicant or participant.&#8221;  In accordance with this authority, CVE has assigned its agents, as identified by their Department of Veterans Affairs identification badge, to examine records as part of this verification process.  As such, they are provided with the expressed authority vested under CVE to examine such records as identified by statute in order to assist in determination of ownership and control requirements.    

    In general, as outlined in 38 CFR &#167;74.20,

    &#8220;A verification examination is an investigation by CVE officials, which verifies the accuracy of any statement or information provided as part of the VetBiz VIP Verification application process. Thus, examiners may verify that the concern currently meets the eligibility requirements, and that it met such requirements at the time of its application or its most recent size recertification. An examination may be conducted on a random basis, or upon receipt of specific and credible information alleging that a participant no longer meets eligibility requirements.&#8221;

    &#8220;CVE may conduct the examination, or parts of the program examination, at one or all of the participant&#8217;s offices. CVE will determine the location of the examination. Examiners may review any information related to the concern&#8217;s eligibility requirements including, but not limited to, documentation related to the legal structure, ownership and control of the concern. As a minimum, examiners shall review all documents supporting the application, as described in 38 CFR &#167;74.12. These include financial statements Federal personal and business tax returns personal history statements and Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form IRS Form 4506 for up to 3 years. Other documents, which may be reviewed include as applicable Articles of Incorporation/Organization corporate by-laws or operating agreements organizational, annual and board/member meeting records stock ledgers and certificates State-issued Certificates of Good Standing contract, lease and loan agreements payroll records bank account signature cards and licenses.&#8220;

    Should you have any questions about this lawful authorization for CVE&#8217;s agents to examine your records, please feel free to contact the Center for Veterans Enterprise at 866 584-2344, or 202 303-3260. 

    Our Products are available at no charge

    1. VetBiz.gov web portal information services offers convenient, two-way communications between government, corporate and owner communities.

    2. VetBiz.gov Vendor Information Pages database of verified businesses

    3. Toll-free business and procurement coaching support: This is the core of what we do. Call us when you have a question. Call us when you want clarification of what you already know. Call us when you think something is not right. We want to know what is happening with you as you try to sell your products and services to the Government or its prime contractors. We want to know what is happening with you as a government or corporate official trying to support this program. We especially want to hear from you with improvement ideas!! Veterans, call us toll-free at 1.866.584.2344, Monday-Friday, 7AM – 5PM Eastern Time.

    4. Free delivery of FedBizOpps notices and notices from VA’s Forecast of Contracting Opportunities, customized to your specifications

    5. VetBiz.gov Assistance Program Pages database: find specialists who will help your business in Start-up, Finance, Training, Procurement and Business Development.

    6. Business Owners’ Toolkit: Keep the legislation, executive order, acquisition regulations, applicable code of federal regulations citations and other key files right on your flash drive or laptop. This helps when meeting individuals who are new or unfamiliar with the program. This product is co-branded with the General Services Administration.

    7. Customized Business Process maps: As a future or current business owner, you can face unknowns daily. We’re available to coach you to the next step and we’re good listeners. We like hearing what is happening with you because other owners may be looking at similar questions or obstacles. Our business map will help you figure out when to drive forward, when to slow down and when to turn in order to reach your destination.

    8. Customized market research reports: If you have money to spend, we want to help you make a decision to spend it with veteran-owned businesses. We know how busy acquisition teams can be, so we’ll run the database queries if you want us to do so.

    9. Customized awareness briefings and community outreach programs: next to our call center support, this may be the second most favorite thing we do. We travel to where you do business, meet face-to-face, learn what your life is really like and try to offer help. What’s not to like about that?

    10. VetFran: discounted franchising support through International Franchise Association franchisors; more than 1,000 veterans have taken advantage of this program since 2002.

    11. Trending reports: This is really good stuff. We are fierce in searching for numbers to trend. So far, we’ve published trend lines for Federal agencies’ SDVOSB achievements since Fiscal Year 2001. We’re hoping to get similar trend charts done for subcontracting achievements. We also do other work like monitor the growth of businesses over time. Sometimes, we scratch our heads and try to make sense of it all. Most of the time, we simply say “Aha! Look at that!”

    12. Awards and Recognition Programs: OK, forget everything that came before this. We really, really, like the awards program. We host this each year in June, on or around Flag Day. We honor Enterprising Veterans who exemplify the motto: Veterans in Business - Still Serving America! We celebrate the work of the advocates selected as Champions of Veterans Enterprise. While it may not be a big to-do by other award program standards, these ceremonies are very special to us.

    13. Our Briefing Materials: We have a great DVD library that explains our program. We have some really fantastic posters. We make these available at no charge to offices that want to visually display their support for veterans in business. We have some very professional Executive brochures and a nice product catalog that offers a lot of detail on our offerings. In addition, and these, too, are more favorites – we will customize a Then and Now poster for business owners (give us a photo of the owner in military uniform and a second photo as the business owner today), we will put the owner’s name and business name on it for posting at the company’s headquarters. This also works for contracting teams who make awards to these owners. Another offering for owners is the 3-minute video clip they can post to our database.

  • Thursday, March 25, 2010 20:27 | Frank Mancini
    FEDERAL DEFINITION: under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. (Discharges marked GENERAL AND UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS also qualify.)

    To this end those of us who own a business should not be classified a socio economic group at the convenience of those who would benefit by such classification and hence creating either disparity or friction amongst others who may indeed have such classification.

    We are a group yes, a group that has already been defined and the definition speaks of an action and fulfillment of a contract, and after such fulfillment one earns the status of a Veteran. I understand that we must be careful on the choice of words and I believe we can, however not taking this opportunity to have this definition on the record could prove to be a mistake, it is my opinion that should this be achieved the Veteran community will stand to greatly benefit.

    As you know this began when some in the community suggested that SDVOSBs should be placed in the same category as 8(a) firms, this sparked immediate disagreement in me and as I began to verbalize the reasons why Veterans should not be placed in the same category of any other socio-economic group I realized that we are not a socio-economic group. This term is used liberally by many and it has found itself in many government documents, this is our opportunity to set the record straight by following the meaning of word its true definition rather than the popular accepted meaning.

    Below is just a very loose draft an initial response to those whom were either indifferent or wanted SDVOSB and VOB to be categorized as a socio-economic group. Please keep in mind that the draft you see below is just a quick and dirty response and that more work is needed. Defining Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) as class of citizen rather than a socio-economic group, a group of individuals defined by their contract with their government administered and managed by the department of defense.

    The reality is still before us and not improving, 26% of Veterans are unemployed, 41% of disabled Veterans are unemployed, and too many are homeless (25% of the homeless population) and of those who own small businesses they have to fight and struggle to have access to government contracting in a fair and competitive environment and on and on.

    It is obvious that we have been defined by action to Second Class Citizenry.

    We must shift the paradigm by defining for once and for all what a Veteran is and what a small business owned by a disable Veteran IS. Should this be done it will be used by many to make progress in the Veteran community for years to come and perhaps real change will take root, this is vital to the Veteran community.

    The limitations of language are many and I will due my best to shine some light on what many of us desperately needed, we need a paradigm shift. Hopefully I will be successful to make these differences self-evident. I will begin by saying that we need the various federal, state agencies and large primes to adhere to the existing laws and regulation, this is key, since we are compounding the problem by thinking of solutions to federal contracting or the lack thereof for SDVOSBs and VOSBs when we are aware that the contracting community is ill informed, our current government in havoc and is suffering from the highest deficit and debt since 1776.

    If the current laws were observed and the contracting community was following their own regulations, it would not be so bad would it? Yes we do need changes but let’s not re-write the book without first reading it. For now let’s concentrate on the laws, their enforcement and the impact of these laws on government contracting regulations!

    The 8(a) program is a specific program that we do not want to either compete with or concern ourselves with. The 8(a) program is a Business Development Program, if a business needs development and qualifies to use the 8(a) program then fine, HOWEVER we should not apply this to SDVOSB, many SDVOSB do not need business development, they just need to be considered by the federal contracting community at large, like most of the SDVOSB we need equitable access to federal and state contracting and we can gain access at no one’s expense, plain and simple.

    A paradigm shift is necessary, the SBA's 8(a) BD Program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a business development program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market.

    Service Disabled Veterans Owned Businesses are not claiming a disadvantage. Veterans are not a disadvantage socio-economic group!

    Veterans have the EARNED RIGHT to equitable access, the EARNED RIGHT to access opportunities within the federal procurement market we are not asking to make special provisions or assistance to access. We are asking to LET US INTO THE DOOR!

    There are many of us that have already demonstrated potential for success and do not need to be babysat by the SBA, we just need for the Federal Procurement Arena to Open Up to the Veteran Business Community so that we can maximize our success, that is all. We do not want to interfere with nor be concerned with the 8(a) programs or HUB-Zones or Women-Owned for that matter or with any other program addressing socio-economic groups.

    As Veterans we ARE NOT socially disadvantaged, how can the same individuals that have preserved the freedom and civil liberties of this Country also be socially disadvantaged? (Please continue below it does make sense).

    When analyzing the definition of socio economic status the variables affecting these are several: education, work experience, occupation and income or one’s family’s economic and social position relative to others, based on income, education, and occupation.

    A Veteran transcends these, a Veteran defines or depicts anyone whom has honorably served in the Armed Forces and therefore EARNED THE RIGHT to access specific services, benefits, etc. reserved for the Earner of these benefits (the Veteran). Someone who willingly or acceptably (during the draft) has forfeited their civil liberties (military rule), followed orders without concern for their safety/life and for many of our sisters and brothers the proverbial blank check was and continues to be cashed as we celebrate their lives on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

    It is true that an individual may be part of a specific socio-economic group and may also be a Veteran, but as a Veteran s/he has the EARNED RIGHT while as a non-veteran s/he has the GIVEN RIGHT.

    For example a woman owned business in accordance with the designation from the SBA it is presumed to be Socially Disadvantaged. Now if that same woman volunteers for the Armed Forces at her honorable discharge she will be Veteran of the Armed Forces. As a woman she has more likely than not been subjected to social discrimination and be at a disadvantage.

    Yes it is true that she is still a woman but she is also a Veteran and to presume that she will be disadvantaged because she is a Veteran is to presume that historically Veterans and women have suffered the same oppression and discrimination.

    As Veterans we have been responsible for protecting the Nation and Earned certain Rights that no one else can claim unless they too have served the armed forces. As a woman her business have been Given the Right to apply for the 8(a) Busineess Development program, however as a Veteran she has Earned the Right to have equitable access to the federal procurement market.

    A Military Veteran is manufactured and therefore an objective truism rather than a subjective presumption.

    The assumption that a special socio-economic program should be created or adapted to SDVOSBs and VOSBs is very dangerous. Other than Vietnam historically Veterans have always occupied a special place in society, in every civilization Veterans have had a special place, a well regarded and respected place. To make Veterans a part of a program that addresses socio-economic disadvantaged groups is to speculate that Veterans have traditionally been discriminated upon and this is NOT TRUE.

    The 8(a) program is designed to develop businesses that have traditionally experienced social discrimination and the government is basically saying that if the community and society is negative then this negative will be counter-balanced by having the US Government open up access to those who qualify as 8(a) firms.

    The US Government has a moral and ethical obligation to open up access to Service-Disabled Owned Small Businesses and Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

    The catalyst is not SOCIETAL, Veterans do not claim that society or the community is hampering their development or growth but ASSERTING a CLAIM that Veterans have EARNED THE RIGHT to enter into contractual agreements with the very same Corporation that they served to defend; the United States Government.

    As you can see 8(a) are apples while SDVOSBs and VOSBs access to Federal, State and ANY Tax Payers’ derived contracting are oranges.

    -- in progress
  • Friday, May 15, 2009 23:05 | Frank Mancini
    Who am I?

    I'm the challenge. It is a great thing to own one's challenges, as we all desire to find our place in society, to follow a dream or to meet an objective inevitably we will all have our battles or honeymoons with our challenges.

    We will all choose our very own and personal challenges, for the past 20 years I've delved in Technology mostly related to Information Technology. The next 20 years will be the growing years the technological transition from analog to digital that we all have been experiencing for the past 20 years.

    Today I specialize in solving problems for other small businesses or project managing for large ones. Technology has been a passion, and it is exciting to be part of this technological revolution from analog to digital.  No matter what one's passion may be, in the end the skill that I have found of greatest importance is execution. As a Veteran execution is key and in the armed forces success is solely based on execution, it is key. When on active duty, my entire day revolved on executing a given task performed in a timely fashion. As a small business owner I have experienced that execution is vital to any business success and that I had to become accustom to such demanding and at times monotonous task - executing in a timely fashion - but what is rewarding is the creative part, the producing part, as small businesses contribute to the growth of our communities by creating jobs and diversity.




  • Thursday, May 14, 2009 00:15 | Frank Mancini
    Orientation
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A welcoming home for our Troops.

Welcoming home our men and women doesn't end after the crowd disperses, it MUST continue on for the life of the Veteran! They've served us, now we will serve them with programs that work so they reintegrate into society.

We are a national public benefit nonprofit organization that educates American Communities about best practices to serve Veterans.  We honor their service by empowering Veterans to apply their training and skills to successfully transition to productive careers and enterprises.

We provide free vocational training 24/7 to all of our members through our website, in addition to local events.  We believe the tenet that American Communities are the ultimate beneficiaries when Veterans claim their benefits and invest in productive endeavors.

The SWVBRC enlists the support of members of local Communities like you to increase Veteran awareness of the value of obtaining a VA card and receiving earned benefits.

Sponsorships, donations, volunteers and support from communities like yours enable us to reach out to Veterans and empower them to transition back into successful, productive enterprises that ultimately benefit all Americans and support future generations.

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