June 4, 2008
Petaluma, Calif. - After losing its fifth federal lawsuit to the American Small Business League (ASBL), the Bush Administration has been forced to release more than 10,000 pages of documents that list the recipients of federal small business contracts for fiscal years 2005 and 2006. Bush Administration officials at the Small Business Administration (SBA) fought the release of the information, but United States District Court Judge Marilyn H. Patel ruled in favor of the ASBL and ordered that the information be released.
The information turned over by the SBA proves the ASBL's long-standing claim that the Bush Administration has fabricated small business contracting data and lied to the public, Congress and the media about the diversion of federal small business contracts to some of the largest firms in the United States and Europe.
"Our goal was to prove before President Bush left office that his administration had fabricated reports and lied to the public, Congress and the media. This information proves that the Bush Administration is responsible for the diversion of more than $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts away from middle-class America and into the hands of some of the largest companies in the world," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said.
The information the ASBL has received indicates firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, GTSI, Office Depot, L-3 Communications, Bechtel, and even the world's third largest defense contractor, British Aerospace and Engineering (BAE) have been the recipients of federal small business contracts.
Since 2002, over a dozen federal investigations have all found that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have actually wound up in the hands of large businesses. During that time, Bush Administration officials conducted a significant public relations campaign to deny these findings. In May of 2007, the SBA went so far as to circulate a press release titled, "Myth VS Fact: SBA and Government Contracting." The press release stated that it is a myth that, "Large companies, including large, multinational corporations are taking away federal contracts specifically intended for small businesses." The information the ASBL has now received clearly shows that these statements were blatantly false and that large businesses in the United States and Europe were recipients of small business contracts.
The ASBL will continue to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request more information from the Bush Administration and will file additional lawsuits if those requests are denied. In addition to the damaging information, four senior level Bush Administration officials have privately told ASBL President Lloyd Chapman that between $65 and $110 billion a year in federal small business contracts actually went to large businesses.
"After the release of this information I don't think that any spokesperson for the SBA or the Bush Administration has any credibility left on this issue. It seems that the SBA's press office has been lying about this issue for years and cannot be believed anymore," Chapman said.
In March of 2007, Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator Obama released a statement that said, "98 percent of all American companies have fewer than 100 employees. Over half of all Americans work for a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource. It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." The ASBL will be turning this information over to Senator Obama's office and asking for his help to close the loopholes and stop the Bush Administration from further dismantling federal small business programs designed to help middle-class Americans receive government contracts.