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Defense Department sued over Raytheon info

By Staff
April 8, 2011

PETALUMA, Calif., April 8 (UPI) -- The American Small Business League is suing the U.S. Department of Defense for refusing to release data on contracts awarded the Raytheon Co.

The ASBL said suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, after the Defense Department "repeatedly refused to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to Raytheon's compliance with small business subcontracting goals."

The ASBL said it believes the information contained in Raytheon's subcontracting reports may show that the contractor isn't complying with its congressionally mandated small business goals. Also, ASBL says it is concerned the reports may indicate that Raytheon and the Defense Department cooperated to circumvent federal law, which requires 23 percent of all federal contracts be awarded to small businesses.

The ASBL's most recent suit was filed to gather information on a series of major government prime contractors, which may lead to litigation filed under the False Claims Act, and Section 16(d) of the Small Business Act.

The league said in a news release that including the suit filed this week, the administration of President Barack Obama has forced the ASBL to file 13 lawsuits in pursuit of publicly releasable documents regarding government contracting programs.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1994 that subcontracting reports are releasable to the public and don't contain trade secret or proprietary information, it said.

"People in the mainstream media seem to think stories about small business issues are not interesting to the public, but this is not just a small business story," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. "This is a story about trillions of dollars in contracting fraud, bribery, and corruption in government. This is a story about how lobbying dollars dictate economic policy in America.

"Our government is broken. How else could you explain $100 million an hour in small business contracts going to large businesses for over a decade?"

The ASBL describes itself as a non-partisan organization designed to assist and advocate on behalf of Small Business in regards to Federal Small Business issues.

Source: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/04/08/Defense-Department-sued-over-Raytheon-info/UPI-66101302267541/



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