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Pentagon Ordered To Release Data on 25-Year-Old "Sham" Test Program

ASBL wins landmark legal victory over the Pentagon

By Lloyd Chapman
American Small Business League
December 2, 2014

PETALUMA, Calif., Dec. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Federal Judge William Alsup of the Northern District Federal Court has ordered the Pentagon to release federal subcontracting data no private citizen, journalist or member of Congress has ever been allowed to see.

The Pentagon was ordered to release subcontracting data on Sikorsky Aviation Corporation that had been submitted under the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).

The information had been requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the American Small Business League (ASBL) as a test case in response to the Pentagon's refusal to release any data on the CSPTP in over 25 years.

The CSPTP was adopted in 1990 under the pretense of "increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses." In reality the program did just the opposite and eliminated all publicly available reports and all penalties for non-compliance with subcontracting goals for the Pentagon's largest prime contractors.

During the last 25 years the Pentagon has refused to release any data on the program. The ASBL's legal victory will result in the first public access to documents on the CSPTP since it began in 1990.

"Judge Alsup's ruling will be the first step in forcing the Pentagon to release every single document that has been submitted to the CSPTP by every prime contractor that has participated in the program since 1990. I believe these documents will prove the Pentagon has been complicit in hundreds of billions in fraud in subcontracting programs. Once we receive the documents we will begin to provide them to the FBI and the Government Accountability Office for investigation," said ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.

In September of this year one of America's leading experts on federal contracting law, Professor Charles Tiefer, released a legal opinion that harshly criticized the CSPTP and referred to it as a "sham." Professor Tiefer's opinion stated, "The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small business... There is no doubt in my mind the CSPTP has significantly reduced subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. It should not have gotten its 25 years of extension as a never-tested 'Test Program.' Let it expire."

Both the House and Senate have voted to extend the CSPTP into its twenty-eighth year of testing even though no member of Congress has ever seen a single report on the program in over 25 years. The Chairman's Mark of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill stated, "However, after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the test program has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goal of the program..."

The ASBL's lawsuit to obtain data on the CSPTP was part of a national campaign they launched in 2010 to halt the renewal of the program. The ASBL is the only national small business advocacy group to ever criticize the program publicly.

"The Pentagon's refusal to release any data on the CSPTP in over 25 years proves Professor Tiefer was right when he referred to it as a sham. I'm confident the data we will receive will convince Congress not to renew this blatantly anti-small business program. Congress should launch an investigation into the program and all of its participants," Chapman stated.

Judge Alsup has ordered the Pentagon to release the data by Dec. 3.

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To view full press release, click here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pentagon-ordered-to-release-data-on-25-year-old-sham-test-program-300003036.html




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