September 16, 2010
The Department of Homeland Security is being sued by the American Small Business League (ASBL) for refusing to release subcontracting data on a contract awarded to Lockheed Martin. (www.asbl.com/documents/Complaint_48KB_LockheedMartin.pdf)
The ASBL filed suit in United States District Court, Northern District of California on Wednesday, September 15. The case was filed after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) repeatedly refused to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request for individual subcontracting reports (ISR) and summary subcontracting reports (SSR) on a prime contract awarded to Lockheed Martin.
The ASBL believes the information contained in the reports may show Lockheed Martin and the Department of Homeland Security may have cooperated in an effort to circumvent federal law which requires 23 percent of all federal contracts to be awarded to small businesses. The ASBL is gathering information on several major government prime contractors in preparation for litigation that may include cases filed under the False Claims Act and Section 16(d) of the Small Business Act.
ASBL has won a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases against the federal government. Some of the information obtained by the ASBL indicates the federal government diverted small business contracts to Lockheed Martin and hundreds of other Fortune 1000 firms. The Obama Administration is currently awarding small business contracts to firms such as Boeing, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, British Aerospace (BAE), Northrop Grumman, and Dell Computer. (http://www.asbl.com/documentlibrary.html)
The ASBL currently has six lawsuits pending against the federal government and plans to file at least six more cases in federal court before the end of the year.
“We can always tell how damaging the information we have requested is based on how hard the government fights to withhold it. This looks like we might have uncovered some very damaging information, since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled that this information is releasable in a case I won 20 years ago,” ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. “The Obama Administration has no hope of winning. My guess is they are stalling for time to modify the data before they are forced to release it. President Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in history, (http://www.propublica.org/article/obama-details-promises-for-transparency-1107) but under his administration we have been forced to go to federal court to obtain the most basic information on small business contracting programs. It makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide.”