March 5, 2007
Petaluma, Calif.- According to a recent report by Eagle Eye Publishing, a commercial provider of federal procurement information, the federal government has failed to achieve the federally mandated 23 percent small business contracting goal for the seventh consecutive year.
Eagle eye statistics found that the government reached a mere 19 percent once again in 2006. However, Lloyd Chapman, small business advocate and president of the American Small Business League, estimates that the actual number is significantly lower considering many of the top recipients were Fortune 1000 companies or subsidiaries. Last year’s statistics cited L-3 Communications as the top recipient in small business contracts totaling $650 million.
“The numbers that Eagle Eye Publishers reported includes contracts awarded to major corporations like Boeing, Lockheed, Microsoft and Bechtel—some of the largest firms in the US and dozens in Europe,” Chapman said. “If you exclude the Fortune 1000 firms on the list, the government is probably only reaching 5 percent of small businesses.”
Since 2002, 14 federal investigations have found billions of dollars have been diverted from legitimate small businesses to Fortune 1000 companies and subsidiaries across the country. Even though this issue was first exposed in 2002, Congress has passed no legislation to stop it. In November 2006, Steven Preston, head of the Small Business Administration, proposed a policy that will actually allow the government to continue to count awards to large companies toward its small business goals until 2012.
On Dec. 16, 2006, the government abruptly pulled employee and revenue statistics off of the government’s Central Contracting Registry, information that allows the public to determine a company’s small business size status. Chapman says he believes this is another government attempt to keep Congress, the public, and the media from being able to prove that federal agencies have completely falsified their small business numbers for several years.