March 24, 2011
Petaluma, Calif. - On Wednesday, March 23, the American Small Business League (ASBL) filed suit against the U.S. Department of Navy after the agency repeatedly refused to fully release subcontracting reports on contracts awarded to contracting giant SAIC. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/complaint_saic_sub_report_navy.pdf)
The ASBL originally requested Individual Subcontracting Reports (ISR) and Summary Subcontracting Reports (SSR) on a prime contract awarded to SAIC under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The suit was filed in United States District Court, Northern District of California.
The ASBL believes the requested information may show that SAIC and the Navy cooperated in an effort to circumvent federal law, which requires 23 percent of all federal contracts to be awarded to small businesses. Wednesday’s lawsuit represents the ASBL’s 12th lawsuit against the Obama Administration. The ASBL is gathering information on a series of 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.
Despite continuing to promise the most transparent administration in history, the Obama Administration has forced the ASBL to file suit over information previously deemed releasable by federal courts. In 1992, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that subcontracting reports are releasable to the public, and do not contain trade secret or proprietary information.
In early 2010, the Associated Press conducted a review of FOIA reports filed by 17 major agencies, and found across the board increases in the number of rejections. While the federal government as a whole received fewer FOIA requests during the first year of the Obama Administration, agencies increasingly said “no” to requesters looking for public documents. (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9EFRPJG0)
“The Obama Administration continually promises to be the most transparent administration in history, yet once again the ASBL has been forced to file suit over information that has always been released to the public,” ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. “There is a credibility gap the size of the Grand Canyon when you look at what President Obama says and what he actually does. It’s just amazing that you won’t see this on network news.”