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California group forces SBA to disclose documents

By Raksha Varma
Silicon Valley Business Journal
April 17, 2006

A California small business group claimed its second legal victory in 18 months against the Small Business Administration on Monday.

The American Small Business League said the SBA has released documents concerning 102 dismissed protests that had been filed against firms, challenging their "small business status."

The group requested the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, saying the SBA had been dismissing legitimate protests in order to protect large contractors that won contracts intended for small businesses. These protests had been filed against firms accused of misrepresenting their status to illegally obtain federal small business contracts, according to the ASBL.

"The SBA has a history of withholding damaging information like this," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said in a press release.

Mark Quinn, district director of the SBA's San Francisco office, said the government is simply trying to make sure small businesses get a fair shot at government contracts. "The system should permit outside challengers to see if the SBA is meeting that role."



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