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Judge to hear dispute over small biz contract data

By Gregg Carlstrom
Federal Times
April 6, 2010

A federal judge is expected to hear arguments later this month on whether the government should continue detailing which companies are receiving small business contract set-asides.

The American Small Business League last week filed a lawsuit to halt General Services Administration plans to remove such data from the government's central contracting database, called the Federal Procurement Data System.

GSA intends to remove a data field from system that denotes whether federal contract recipients are small businesses. The change will make it impossible for watchdog groups to ensure that companies receiving small-business set aside contracts are, in fact, small businesses, the league argues.

More than a dozen federal investigations over the last seven years have found that billions of dollars of contracts intended for small businesses have in fact gone to large corporations.

The League's lawsuit, filed in a California Northern District Court, asks a judge to order GSA to reinstate the small-business data field. The case will be heard this month, according to court documents, though an exact hearing date hasn't been scheduled; a ruling is expected shortly afterwards.

GSA did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20100406/ACQUISITION03/4060307/



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