The Times Record
November 15, 2010
In 1990, the Pentagon established the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program, which was intended to offer 14 of the country’s largest defense contractors various incentives in hopes of creating greater subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.
The idea was to see if the incentives, such as fewer reporting requirements, led to more small businesses getting defense subcontracts.
Great idea ... the only problem is that it’s never been evaluated to see if it’s meeting the stated goals.
1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, has sent a letter signed by four other members of Congress, asking the Government Accountability Office to conduct that long-overdue investigation.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy,” Pingree wrote in the letter. “Congress must ensure that federal small-business contracting programs are functioning properly to provide maximum opportunities to our small businesses.”
Given that the 1990 test program has been reauthorized three times without ever being evaluated to see if it actually works, Pingree’s request is more than reasonable. The GAO should conduct the requested review without delay; one way or the other, its findings should prove useful to the Pentagon, small businesses and taxpayers alike.