Glendale, Colo. – Virtuoso Sourcing Group, LLC (VSG), a woman-owned small business (WOSB) based in Glendale, Colorado, has announced it will give access to company documents and records to certain firms interested in validating its assertion as a Federal WOSB prior proposing the firm as a subcontractor in a response to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) current solicitation for Private Collection Agency (PCA) services. VSG has a long history of service as a subcontractor on the PCA contract. VSG will make available to bidders:
- Corporate documents showing its majority shareholder and CEO, Judy LaSpada, maintains unconditional control of the firm.
- Copies of key vendor and lease documents showing that agreements in these areas were made unilaterally by Ms. LaSpada.
- Correspondence on recent company decisions demonstrating Ms. LaSpada’s unconditional control.
- References who will confirm that no other person at VSG has the authority to negotiate partnerships or transact business materially affecting VSG other than Ms. LaSpada.
The offer is in response to the proliferation of firms recently asserting WOSB status and competing for ED PCA subcontracts set aside for firms unconditionally controlled by one or more women, according to Federal regulations.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) , the U.S. Small Business Administration has determined that “more than 40 percent of businesses … it examined for program eligibility should not have attested they were WOSBs … at the time of SBA’s review.”
In 2013, NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report indicating “the level of false self-certification as a woman-owned business is troubling and may exist Government-wide … six small businesses in our sample with indicators of false self-certification received approximately $74.5 million in contract obligations during fiscal year 2010 from 54 unique Federal procurement organizations.”
In 2014, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) issued a report finding that “over one-half of the firms denied certification for the women-owned WOSB/EDWOSB federal contracting set-aside program by the Women’s Chamber have claimed self-certified women-owned status in the federal database of contractors” at www.sam.gov.
What this means is that there are firms competing for Federal subcontracts that in all likelihood fall into such categories, in which either the firm should not have asserted WOSB status on the sam.gov website, a third-party certifier should not have granted WOSB certification to the firm, or both.
Last year’s $20 million settlement agreed to by “WOSB” subcontractor UFC Aerospace provides a useful example of the consequences of these kinds of misrepresentations.
“The solicitation’s emphasis on small business subcontracting and requirements to name proposed subs and include their reps and certs we take as a sign of increased scrutiny,” said Judy. “We welcome PCAs to note all of this and look closely at how we operate as a WOSB, who speaks for our firm, compare it to others, and draw their own conclusions.”
About Virtuoso Sourcing Group
Virtuoso Sourcing Group is a nationally-operating, woman-owned small business headquartered in Colorado with various areas of specialization, including collecting defaulted Federal student loans. Our higher education agents use consultative methods to discover and complete the best-options for repayment for the borrower. We are proficient with regulations, federal/state laws, compliance and training techniques to ensure compliant recoveries — while rehabilitating the relationship between the student lender and borrowers. Learn more at www.virtuososourcing.com.