PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - December 20,
2016) - The San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the American Small
Business League's (ASBL) Freedom Of
Information Act Request (FOIA) case against the Pentagon on December 14, 2016.
The hearing was held following the Pentagon's appeal to overturn the ruling
that they disclose Sikorsky Aviation Corporation's most recent subcontracting
plan submitted to the Pentagon's Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program
The ASBL originally won their FOIA case
against the Pentagon in November
of 2014. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco
ordered the Pentagon to release the Sikorsky data to the ASBL after reviewing the information and
deducing nothing in the
report constituted as trade secret, proprietary or confidential financial
The ASBL believes the CSPTP has allowed the
Pentagon's largest prime contractors to circumvent small business
subcontracting goals by eliminating all transparency and penalties for
non-compliance. Professor Charles Tiefer, a leading expert on federal
contracting law, has written a legal
opinion agreeing with the ASBL, calling the CSPTP a "sham"
and "seriously harmful" to small businesses.
In his ruling, Judge Alsup described the ASBL
an underdog in a David and Goliath battle against the "big
company" and against the "big government." He also accused the
Pentagon of "covering
it up" in reference to the information the ASBL requested. In a subsequent
hearing, Judge Alsup accused the Pentagon and Sikorsky of trying to "suppress
During the District Court case, Judge Alsup
instructed the Pentagon and Sikorsky on two separate occasions to "highlight
the parts that are supposedly confidential" or that they believed were
proprietary and explain why they believed the information should be exempt. The
Pentagon declined to comply with Judge Alsup's request.
Despite the fact that the Pentagon and
Sikorsky never complied with Judge Alsup's order to make evidence available to
establish the validity of their claims, Sikorsky continued to argue during the
December 14th hearing that a detailed disclosure of their small business
recruiting program and subcontracting reports would put them at a disadvantage
Speaking to the Pentagon regarding their lack
of cooperation with the Court, Judge Norman Randy Smith stated "You didn't try, you just
sent what you wanted."
Regarding Sikorsky's position ASBL President Lloyd Chapman had this to
"Sikorsky's assertion that the public's
right to know how trillions of tax dollars have been spent over the last 27
years is outweighed by concern that a competitor might use the details of their
small business recruiting program is laughable."
To view the full press release, click here: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/pentagon-sikorsky-9th-circuit-case-weighs-privacy-vs-transparency-2184482.htm