Should you protest a CVE determination with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims?
A negative CVE determination can be devastating to your company. On October 10, 2014, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims granted construction company Ambuild’s summary judgment motion in its protest against the CVE and the VA’s OSBDU. According to the case Ambuild Co. LLC v. United States, the protest began after Ambuild successfully bid on a VA issued construction project and the disappointed bidder, Welch construction, Inc., filed an SBA protest and an agency level protest with the VA OSDBU and CVE. Welch's protest asserted that Ambuild was not controlled by a service disabled veteran and that the company did not meet SBA size standards, because of its affiliation with a larger construction company. Interestingly, Ambuild is owned entirely by Mark DeChick, an honorably discharged and service-connected United States Marine. CVE first certified Ambuild in 2012 and renewed its certification in March 2014. The SBA denied Welch's protest on the grounds over which it had jurisdiction, and the CVE/OSDBU determined that Ambuild did meet size requirements and was not affiliated with the larger construction company. However, the CVE upheld the protest on grounds unrelated to Welch's protest. Beyond that, CVE disqualified Ambuild from the vetbiz database making them ineligible to bid on VA SDVOSB set-asides.