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Showdown Looms on Federal Contracts

By Keith Girard
March 14, 2006

The federal government awarded more than $119 billion in contracts to small business in 2004, a notable achievement -- if, in fact, the companies were truly "small".

But the president of the American Small Business League (ASBL) has his doubts. He's been trying for months to force the federal Small Business Administration to identify companies that won lucrative government business.

The agency recently spurned his request for the names under a federal Freedom of Information Act request, and now the ASBL President Lloyd Chapman is taking it up a notch. He says his group intends to sue the SBA to get the information.

"I am confident the information we obtain will prove the SBA and the [General Services Administration] have diverted billions in small business contracts to Fortune 1000 companies," he said in a statement.

Chapman says the league has won two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the SBA in the past year. "Seven federal investigations and two private studies have documented that Fortune 1000 firms and their subsidiaries have received billions [of dollars] in small business contracts. Three of the reports came from the SBA's own Office of Inspector General," he says.



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