Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The
San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the American Small
Business League's (ASBL) Freedom Of Information Act Request (FOIA) case
against the Pentagon on 01/06/2017. The Pentagon appealed the case after they
lost in the Federal district court of San Francisco
following the ruling that Sikorsky Aviation Corporation disclose their most
recent subcontracting plan submitted to the Pentagon's Comprehensive
Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).
The ASBL estimates that over $5 trillion
dollars in undisclosed federal contracts have been administered through
the CSPTP since its inception in 1989. By seeking disclosure of Sikorsky
Aviation Corporations participation in the CSPTP, the ASBL sought to reveal
evidence that the program allowed the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to
circumvent small business subcontracting goals without penalty, costing small
businesses trillions of dollars.
ASBL originally won their FOIA case against the Pentagon in November of 2014. Federal District
Court Judge William Alsup 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 information.
In his ruling, Judge Alsup described the ASBL as being 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 the evidence."
Professor Charles Tiefer,
a leading expert on federal contracting law, has written a legal opinion corroborating the
ASBL's case, calling the CSPTP a "sham" and "seriously
harmful" to small businesses.
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 9th Circuit Court
having never seen the documents on which Judge Alsup based his verdict, the
Court of Appeals overruled Judge Alsup in favor of Sikorsky, rendering Sikorsky
exempt from having to provide proof of compliance with federal contracting law
while participating in the CSPTP.
"This is a landmark decision," said ASBL President Lloyd Chapman. " The Pentagon cannot
account for $6.5 trillion in expenditures and this
ruling facilitates more of this astounding abuse. We don't know how trillions
of our tax dollars have been spent for the last 27 years and we may continue to
not know for the next 27 years. The ASBL is already working on appealing this
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