March 16, 2014

Speaker Silver Announces Assembly Approved Budget Would Expand Participation of Businesses Owned by Service-Disabled Veterans in State Procurement Contracts
Budget Measure Calls for New OGS Division to Promote Use of Veteran Businesses to Help Vets Realize the American Dream they Fought to Protect

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Veterans Committee Chair Michael Benedetto today announced the recently approved Assembly budget resolution for SFY 2014-15 includes the Service-Disabled Veterans-Owned Business Act, which would set the goal of five percent for all the state's procurement contracts to be with businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

"By taking a proactive approach to ensure more businesses owned by service-disabled veterans are participating in state contracts, we are helping these honorable men and women realize the American dream they fought to protect. With this bill, we show our appreciation for the sacrifices these veterans have made in the defense of our nation and freedom throughout the world," said Silver.

"This budget resolution directs the state procurement process to become more mindful of the products and services that are available through service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. It also establishes a number of comprehensive measures that will ensure the growth of such veteran businesses in state contracts. Through this initiative, we recognize the selfless acts and significant contributions veterans have made to safeguard the American freedoms and liberties we so treasure," said Benedetto.

A key provision of the act creates, within the Office of General Services (OGS), the Division of Service-Disabled Veterans' Business Development, which would be led by a governor appointed director, who would be required to develop and coordinate with the OGS commissioner a statewide plan that promotes the program among state agencies.

The legislation also calls for the director to compile a public directory which will be posted on the OGS website of certified service-disabled veteran-owned businesses for use by state agencies and the public and to collect and distribute information to assist service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

To ensure the act's success, this budget measure sets the goal that five percent of the state's procurement contracts be comprised of service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, establishes monitoring and annual reporting requirements and implements a results-driven review process to record and identify areas of the program that are working or in need of improvement.

Also under the Assembly budget, OGS would be required to train procurement personnel to be responsive to the needs of service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and provide advice and technical assistance to promote the greater participation of such veteran-owned businesses in the state procurement process.