The Pentagon mistakenly awarded $876.8 million in contracts to ineligible small businesses supposedly owned by disabled veterans in the fiscal years 2017 and 2018, according to the Defense Department’s inspector general.
If personnel continue to award contracts “without verifying contractor eligibility, service-disabled veterans may be in jeopardy of not receiving contract awards intended for them, and the DoD will be at risk of misreporting the amounts” of participation for qualified contractors, according to the audit released Thursday.
A 2004 executive order requires the heads of federal agencies to provide an opportunity for service-disabled veteran businesses to increase their participation in federal contracting. The order set a target goal of providing at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran businesses each year.
The report doesn’t name any businesses which received payments.
Any “lack of action regarding ineligible” contractors by the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs “compromises the integrity and intention of the” program “which is to serve veterans with disabilities incurred or aggravated in the line of duty,” it said.
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