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GAO may probe validity of Pentagon small business subcontracting program

By Staff
Central Valley Business Times
October 26, 2010

•  Comprehensive Test Program never evaluated in 20 years

•  ‘Billions more in subcontracts to small businesses and create jobs across the country’

Five members of the House of Representatives want the Government Accountability Office to investigate a Pentagon subcontracting program that was supposed to prompt big contractors into helping small business subcontractors get federal business.

But despite being renewed three times in 20 years, the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program has never been evaluated, the members of Congress say in their request for a GAO investigation.

Instead of helping small businesses win federal contracts, the program actually allows large government contractors to circumvent small business subcontracting goals, contends the American Small Business League of Petaluma.

“Clearly this program wasn’t designed to help small businesses, it was designed to help prime contractors avoid paying liquidated damages for non-compliance with their small business subcontracting goals,” says ASBL President Lloyd Chapman. “The elimination of this program would force prime contractors to award billions more in subcontracts to small businesses and create jobs across the country.”

Participants in the program include BAE Systems, Boeing, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Harris Corporation and seven other prime contractors. According to federal data, participants of the CSPTP received $55.24 billion in contracts from the Department of Defense during federal fiscal year 2009.

“Federal contracting data calls into question whether the 14 large prime contractors who are participants in the CSPTP are actually meeting their small business subcontracting goals,” says the letter to the GAO, signed by Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.; Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.; Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif.; and Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

 

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