SBA budget cuts could prolong recovery process


SBA budget cuts could prolong recovery process

Guest Commentary

By Lloyd Chapman
Houston Business Journal
September 24, 2008

Relief to small businesses and homeowners recovering from this season’s round of hurricanes will be dramatically hampered by a series of severe Bush administration budget cuts at the Small Business Administration.

The federal agency’s ability to respond to victims of Hurricane Katrina was severely handicapped by dramatic budget and staffing cuts at the agency prior to the storm.

The SBA was so overwhelmed during relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina that the agency was forced to hire thousands of temporary workers to do the work of the multitude of experienced SBA staff that had been laid off by the Bush administration.

A Government Accountability Office report issued on July 25, 2007, stated: “SBA also faced challenges training and supervising the thousands of mostly temporary employees the agency hired to process loan applications and obtaining suitable office space for its expanded workforce. As of late May 2006, SBA processed disaster loan applications, on average, in about 74 days compared with its goal of within 21 days.”


New SBA Head Still Refusing to Release Small Business Contracting Statistics

Press Release

New SBA Head Still Refusing to Release Small Business Contracting Statistics

Interest In SBA Data Mounts As Agency Stalls the Release of Inflated Small Business Statistics

September 18, 2008

Petaluma, Calif. - Eleven and a half months after the end of the federal government's fiscal year (FY) 2007, new Acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Santanu "Sandy" Baruah has still not released the Bush Administration's small business contracting statistics for last year.

The federal government's FY 2007 ended on September 30th of last year. 2008 marks the first time in history that the SBA has not released its annual small business contracting statistics by the end of August.

SBA critics question why the SBA routinely takes so long to release the statistics, when it is widely known that the data is compiled on a real time basis. The information should have been available as soon as October 1, 2007.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) believes Bush officials at the SBA may have backed themselves into a corner when during an August 28, 2008 legal preceding, representatives from the SBA told United States District Court Judge Marilyn H. Patel that they did not have any small business contracting data. (

Another reason the Bush Administration may be anxious about release of the data is every year since 2003, a firestorm of controversy erupts as soon as the small business contracting data is released. In that time, 15 federal investigations have found that the Bush Administration consistently diverts billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms.

In past years, the story on the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants has erupted within hours of the release of the fabricated data. CBS, ABC, CNN and virtually every major newspaper in the country have covered the story.

The Bush Administration would obviously like to avoid another controversy in such close proximity to the elections.

Another possibility is that the SBA may have spent the last eleven and a half months scrubbing the 2007 data of any obvious large businesses names. They would then significantly inflate the volume of contract dollars allotted to legitimate small businesses to make up the difference.

If and when the Bush Administration does release its small business contracting statistics for 2007, billions of dollars in contracts to many of the largest firms in the United States and even Europe will most likely be included. This year marks the seventh consecutive year that large companies have been included in the government's small business contracting statistics.

In the past, Bush officials have reported contracts to firms such as Bechtel, John Deere, Dell, Xerox, Rolls Royce, Battelle, Home Depot, Boeing, Raytheon, Halliburton, General Dynamics, Thales (French), Buhrmann NV (Dutch) and British Aerospace and Engineering (BAE) as small business contracts.

The SBA is facing mounting pressure to release the 2007 small business contracting statistics. Every day that they stall the release of the data creates more and more interest in their justifications for withholding the information. If the SBA does release the data, they could find themselves in trouble with the federal courts in San Francisco as a result of SBA officials stating that they did not have the data detailing the recipients of federal small business contracts. 


GSA boasts improvements in small business contracting


GSA boasts improvements in small business contracting

By Elizabeth Newell
September 18, 2008

The General Services Administration on Tuesday announced that it increased the percentage of its contract dollars going to small businesses during fiscal 2007.

Comment on this article in The Forum.Awards to small firms rose from 32 percent of contract spending in fiscal 2006 to 34 percent in fiscal 2007, the agency stated. Both rates exceeded the congressionally mandated goal of 23 percent.

The agency also announced that it boosted contracting with small disadvantaged, woman-owned, HUBZone and service disabled veteran-owned businesses. It beat congressionally mandated targets in three of those socioeconomic subcategories as well; service disabled veteran-owned businesses were the exception.

Preliminary numbers for fiscal 2008 show the agency is on track to exceed congressional goals in all four subcategories, agency officials said.

"I am very proud of GSA's efforts to help small businesses succeed," acting Administrator Jim Williams said. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we need these companies ... to help our nation remain prosperous. We increase our contracts with small businesses every year, and I expect this trend to continue."

GSA also touted its role in administering governmentwide contract vehicles that promote small businesses. The agency noted that in fiscal 2007, more than 37 percent of all prime contract dollars, or $13.4 billion, went to small businesses via orders off the GSA schedules, which are catalogs of pre-negotiated contracts.

But some small business advocates are reluctant to pat GSA on the back for its efforts. Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League, called the agency's numbers "completely fabricated." Chapman has long accused agencies of counting awards to large companies toward small business goals, citing reports by the Small Business Administration and Interior Department inspectors general showing that agencies included large, well-known corporations in small business contracting data, and other investigations.

Chapman said his group will file a Freedom of Information Act request with GSA for the names of all firms represented in its small business contracting data.

Governmentwide data on fiscal 2007 small business contracting is still pending. A spokesman said SBA has tentative plans to release the numbers on Friday.


Latest GSA Small Business Contracting Numbers Include Billions to Fortune 500 Corporations

Press Release

Latest GSA Small Business Contracting Numbers Include Billions to Fortune 500 Corporations

GSA Accused of Fabricating Small Business Contracting Statistics by Including Billions to Fortune 500 Firms

September 17, 2008

Petaluma, Calif. – Yesterday, the General Services Administration (GSA) issued a press release stating that the agency had exceeded all of its small business contracting goals, with the exception of the congressionally mandated 3 percent goal for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

The GSA failed to mention in its press release on its increased small business contracting numbers, that most of the money actually ended up in the hands of Fortune 1000 corporations, publicly traded firms and even a number of large businesses overseas. This represents the seventh consecutive year that the Bush Administration has released small business contracting statistics that includes billions of dollars in contracts to some of the largest companies in the U.S. and Europe.

There have now been 15 federal investigations during the Bush Administration, that have all found large businesses as the actual recipients of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts. In Report 5-15, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General stated, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the entire Federal Government today is that large businesses are receiving small business procurement awards and agencies are receiving credit for these awards." (

On July 1, 2008, the Department of Interior (DOI) Office of Inspector General released a report, which stated that the DOI misstated the achievement of its small business goals by including Fortune 500 corporations. According to the report, DOI included dozens of corporate giants such as Dell, GTSI, Home Depot, John Deere, McGraw-Hill, Ricoh, Sherwin Williams, Starwood Hotels, Waste Management Incorporated, Weyerhaeuser, World Wide Technology, and Xerox in its small business contracting statistics. (

The American Small Business League (ASBL) intends to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the GSA for the specific names of all of the firms the GSA used to hit and exceed its congressionally mandated small business contracting goals. The ASBL intends to request the information as a means of proving that the Bush Administration once again has fabricated its small business contracting numbers for fiscal year 2007.

The ASBL projects that the Bush Administration diverts up to $100 billion a year in small business contracts to large corporations.

"The Bush Administration has lost all credibility with the public and the media, especially when it comes to small business contracting. There have been 15 federal investigations, which have all found that hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts intended for small businesses actually went to Fortune 500 corporations," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. "The GSA's small business statistics are fabricated and have no validity. I would love to have someone from the press contact GSA's Acting Administrator Jim Williams and ask one question, 'are contracts to any Fortune 1000 corporations included in your small business contracting numbers, yes or no?' "