Posted on Jun 30, 2015
LTC Marc King
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I am writing this as a retired Army veteran and the owner of a “Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business” (SDVOSB) which operates out of my home office. I started my company shortly after I made the decision to leave the corporate world two years ago. I sought the advantage of registering my company with the Veterans Administration as a service disabled veteran, a unique distinction for which I am fully qualified. In going through the process of registering the company, I encountered a number of frustrating roadblocks along the way recounting the difficulty that was imposed by the VA in completing the task of registering the company. The amount of paperwork and intrusive information they required, for which they place the blame on Congress, was so onerous that I decided at the time not to complete the process. It was only with the help and guidance of my wife, a former Senior Executive in the DoD, that the process was completed.

Now, I have been informed by the program administrators that 2 years have passed since completing this arduous task and updates will need to be provided. I have been instructed to participate in a webinar where I will be instructed on the updates and information that the system will require for me to retain my SDVOSB status.

Here is my real concern. Given that we are still discovering the breath and scope of the hack of the government’s Office of Personnel Management, which is now reported to be approaching 18 million people and the compromise of the most personal information in their data base which went on completely undetected for over a year – I have very little confidence that the VA’s data base in which they want me to place my business checking account information, tax return information and other sensitive and vital information is no more secure, at least not at this time, than the servers at OPM. To request this level of personal and business information for the sole purpose of renewing my eligibility to be in the program is at best intrusive and at worst subject to be in the hands of Chinese or Russian hackers before I have even completed entering it. After only 24 months, the process wants to repeat itself and there is no confidence that the information provided will be secure. What is true is that the original qualifying requirements have not changed in 24 months and a simple check by the appropriate folks could confirm that with a telephone call or face to face meeting.

Is my concern for the protection of sensitive company information overstated in light of the recent cyber security failures, should the process give the benefit to the veteran and not the contractors running the program. How do other SDVOSB owners feel about this -- do we need to get Congress fired up?
Posted in these groups: C77bab45 SDVOSB
Edited 6 y ago
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Responses: 4
CPT Pedro Meza
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LTC Marc King, Thank Sir, I have been thinking of starting a home business but had no knowledge of the hassle.
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LTC Marc King
LTC Marc King
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If you really want it I would not want to discourage you -- If you are Service Disabled Vet you have earned the opportunity -- just know that you will have to comply with requests for information that has yet to be created... If you don't have it you can provide an explanation for each one separately as to why you don't have it.. Provide bank details, Social Security information, tax returns for 5 years, who you work for now -- why you don't work for them now... What do you do all day -- are you actually running the business.. You need to register in SAM, get a DUNS Number, request a CAGE Code, and all of this information will be placed in a VA data base which I'm sure is no more secure then the servers at OPM. So the Russians and the Chinese -- if they don't know you now will soon after disclosing all you sensitive information. Like I said; if you feel the fire in your belly go for it -- otherwise think on it. Good luck no matter your decision. Allons!
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CPT Pedro Meza
CPT Pedro Meza
6 y
LTC Marc King - I see the light and have chosen not to go that route, I appreciate the input because the business is pending the arrival of my old black and white photo equipment.
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LTC John Shaw
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LTC Marc King Is there a contact at the SBA you can mention your concerns to?
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LTC Marc King
LTC Marc King
6 y
This is Congressionally imposed and I have contacted my representatives but he cant make a change by himself -- needs the support of the community and their Congressional Reps as well.
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PVT Robert Gresham
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If your company is already up and running, and you feel that your privacy concerns outweigh the possible advantages, then I would definitely listen to that "little voice whispering in your ear".

The problems of hacking and data intrusion is a disaster that is only going to get worse. For every counter measure there is a genius hacker out there who can expect a cool payday for every name and social security number that he can provide to the right buyer. If you saw the last episode of "60 Minutes" on Sunday, the 28th of June, you will already know that there are dishonest people here in the US who will buy your information and file fraudulent tax returns. These thefts of your money through the IRS can take years to straighten out. Imagine what a foreign country, bent on causing nationwide panic and anger, could do with thousands of illicitly obtained names and SSNs.

For my security, the less I have to send ANYONE my Social Security Number, and other identifying information, the better.
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LTC Marc King
LTC Marc King
6 y
You are right - might have to forgo the revert in the interest of safety.
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