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How to Do Business with Department of Veterans Administration

American Heroes IIYou hear something about this department in the news just about every day it seems; unfortunately it has been mostly bad press relating to the treatment of our veterans in the Veterans Health Administration. But the Department of Veterans Affairs is a labyrinth of a department. Because our veterans are wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, children, employees and business owners; the department has to offer information and services relevant to each of these roles. This department consists of twelve (12) Staff Organizations; seven (7) Staff Offices and three (3) Administrations.

The three administrative offices of the department are the ones you are most familiar with and what you think of when you hear VA. They include the National Cemetery Administration – responsible for providing a final resting place for our veterans and eligible family members and maintaining the national cemeteries as national shrines in honor of our service men and women; The Veterans Benefits Administration – responsible for providing benefits and services to Service members, Veterans, and their families in recognition of their service to the Nation; and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) – America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.

Because this department serves the needs of service members, veterans and their families, this is probably one of the largest of the departments of the executive branch. As such, shrinking the depth and breadth of this department into one concise article was a challenge. So I decided to focus on the two thinks I think you want most: 1. Figuring out how to do business with the VA, and 2. Finding resources within the VA as a Service Disabled/Veteran Owned Business (SD/VOSB).

There are a ton of opportunities to do business with the VA since the VA is one of the largest procurement and supply agencies within the federal government. The VHA serves over 8.5 million veterans per year with 150 medical centers, nearly 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, and Vet Centers. Just within the Veterans Health Administration alone the procurement opportunities for medical supplies, equipment and drugs is enormous. I’ve attached a link here for the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) where you can find ways to conduct business with the VA; a list of goods they procure; links to various program offices and the VA Federal Supply Schedule. I’m also including the link to the VA Forecast of Contract Opportunities .

Now if you happen to be a Veteran or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, then things are even better for you. The Vets First Verification Program is designed for you to get verified as a SD/VOSB; get listed in the online registry of Veteran Owned businesses and get notified of upcoming events and conferences.

These events are great ways to get in front of Small Business Specialists who may have opportunities out for bid. One such event is the 2014 National Veteran Small Business Engagement to be held December 9-11 in Atlanta, GA.  This is the VA’s premier event for the Veteran small business community. The NVSBE connects small businesses with government and commercial procurement decision makers, committed to working with Veterans. You can visit the engagement’s official site for more information and to register.

Use the links I included above to navigate to the areas of his department focused on business opportunities. However, I encourage you to take a detour within the site to learn more about haw this amazing department serves the many needs of those who’ve served our Country.

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