Pentagon 25-Year-Old "Sham" Test Program Facing Mounting Opposition
AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESS LEAGUE RAMPS UP OPPOSITION ON SHAM TEST PROGRAM
By Lloyd Chapman
American Small Business League
October 8, 2014
PETALUMA,Calif., Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent mediaattention on the Pentagon's 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) andthe significant negative impact it has had on small businesses has caused thePentagon and Congress to reconsider the future of the program.
TheCSPTP was adopted in 1990 under the guise of increasing subcontractingopportunities for small businesses. In reality, the CSPTP created a colossalloophole in federal law that has allowed the Pentagon's largest primecontractors to completely ignore federal law establishing small businesssubcontracting goals. Once the CSPTP eliminated all transparency and penaltiesfor non-compliance with small business goals, subcontracting opportunities forsmall businesses evaporated.
ThePentagon has never released any documentation that the CSPTP ever helped smallbusinesses. Even the language in the 2015 National Defense Authorization billrenewing the CSPTP into its 28th year of testing was critical of the program. It stated, "However,after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the testprogram has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goal ofthe program."
A2004 Government Accountability Office investigation also found no evidence the CSPTP had everincreased subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.
Themedia attention on the CSPTP prompted a hearing in the Senate Armed ServicesCommittee. Long time small business advocate and former head of the SBA OfficeOf Advocacy, Jere Glover testified at the hearing andsubmitted a letter to the committee opposing the renewal of the CSPTP.Before the media buzz on the program, both houses of Congress voted to renew theCSPTP into its 28thyear of testing.
ProfessorCharles Tiefer, one of the nation's leadingexperts on federal contracting law, issued a legal opinion opposing the renewal of the CSPTP. ProfessorTiefer's legal opinion referred to the CSPTP as a "sham" and stated,"There is no doubt in my mind the CSPTP has significantly reducedsubcontracting opportunities for small businesses. It should not have gottenits 25 years of extension as a never-tested 'Test Program.' Let itExpire."
ProfessorTiefer discussed his legal opinion opposing the renewal of the CSPTP in anappearance on Federal News Radio on September 22,2014.
TheAmerican Small Business League launched a nationalcampaign to expose the fact that the CSPTP has cheated small businesses outof over a trillion dollars in subcontracts since its inception in 1990, andhalt the renewal of the test program.
TheHill ran a blog critical of the test program titled, "Pull The Plug On Pentagon's 25-Year-Old TestProgram." Another article by The Blaze White House correspondent, Fred Lucas, focused even more attention on the CSPTP.
GovExec journalist Charles Clark released an article critical ofthe CSPTP. In his article Pentagon spokeswoman MaureenSchumann acknowledged, "The Department of Defense position is to not haveCongress extend the CSP."
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