The gadfly American Small Business League’s new annual list of Fortune 500
companies it argues are grabbing undeserved federal contracts includes such
household names as Verizon, Wellpoint, Target and Boeing.
“Year after year, large corporations illegally receive billions of dollars
in small business contracts intended for legitimate small businesses,” said a recent
release from the Petaluma, Calif.,-based league run by Lloyd Chapman.
Among the top 179 federal contract award winners in fiscal 2014, by the
league’s analysis, were Verizon Communications ($125,949,391); WellPoint
($27,092,843); Boeing ($7,596,087); Raytheon ($3,878,029);IBM ($3,379,118);
General Dynamics ($2,577,577); United Technologies ($2,498,067); and
Lockheed Martin ($2,441,197).
The league has long attacked
the Small Business Administration’s methodology for determining who qualifies
as a small business and is hence eligible for set-asides that every agency is
under mandate to honor.
The SBA, while taking no position on the league’s methodology, argued in a
Friday statement that legitimate small firms might appear as large ones because
of the growth of a business, mergers and acquisitions, or human data entry
error by a contracting officer. “SBA has no tolerance for fraud,
waste and abuse, and takes corrective steps when actionable information comes
to light,” an official said. “Over the past seven years, SBA has initiated more
governmentwide suspension and debarment actions than in the previous 10
years. The fact that a contract awarded to a large business is coded in a
database as an award to a small business does not mean that the contract was
taken away from a small business or that small businesses suffered.”
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