SOURCE: American Small Business League

American Small Business League

December 04, 2014 13:31 ET

Solicitor General Helps Pentagon Stall Release of Damaging Subcontracting Data, According to ASBL

Pentagon Refusing to Release Court Ordered Information to ASBL

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 4, 2014) - The Office of the Solicitor General has intervened in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case between American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman and the Pentagon.

Federal District Court Judge William Alsup ordered the Pentagon to release data submitted by Sikorsky Aviation Corporation under the Pentagon's 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program to the ASBL by December 3.

Judge Alsup has now granted a 60-day stay of the release of the data to give the Office of the Solicitor General time to decide if they want to appeal Judge Alsup's ruling.

"The Solicitor General and the Pentagon know they have no chance of winning an appeal in this case. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1994 that small business subcontracting data cannot be withheld under the Freedom of information Act," said Chapman. "The Pentagon is simply stalling the release of what they know will be very damaging information and probably clear evidence of fraud by the Pentagon until Congress approves the renewal of the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program before the December 11th recess."

The ASBL selected Sikorsky at random as a test case to challenge the Pentagon's refusal to release any data on the CSPTP since it began in 1990.

The CSPTP was adopted by the Pentagon under the pretest of "increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses." All available information indicates the program did just the opposite. For twenty-five years the CSPTP has eliminated all data that had been previously available to the general public that could be used to track a prime contractors' compliance with federally mandated small business subcontracting goals. The CSPTP also eliminated all penalties prime contractors had previously faced, such as liquidated damages, for failing to comply with their small business subcontracting goals.

A 2004 GAO investigation and language in the Chairman's Mark of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) acknowledged there is no evidence in the program's twenty-five year history that is has ever benefited small businesses.

In September, Professor Charles Tiefer, one of America's leading experts on federal contracting law released a legal opinion of the CSPTP that stated, "The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small business to get government contracting work... Let it expire."

A victory for the ASBL in the Sikorsky case will lead to the release of all the data submitted to the CSPTP. Chapman believes the data will prove the Pentagon has falsified the agencies compliance with federal law that mandates a minimum of 23 percent of all federal contracts be awarded to small businesses. Current participants in the CSPTP include: Boeing, BAE Systems, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation, Harris Corporation, L3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon and Sikorsky.

The Pentagon now has until January 22, 2015 to turn over the Sikorsky data to the ASBL.

ASBL documentary trailer