American Small Business League Wins Key Pentagon Documents
December 11, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Small Business League ("ASBL") announced Wednesday that a federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the Department of Defense to disclose key records shedding light on whether big defense contractors like Lockheed Martin complied with laws requiring them to subcontract to small businesses. The case was one of the first tests of a recent Supreme Court ruling.
The November 24 ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by ASBL, forces the Pentagon to turn over evaluations of whether Lockheed and its subsidiary Sikorsky complied with small business subcontracting goals. At an earlier stage of the case, government documents disclosed that there was a "huge gap" between Sikorsky's small business subcontracting goals and its subcontracting performance. A document released this year during the case showed that the government once recommended "probation" for Sikorsky if it did not increase its small business subcontracting goals and performance.
ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said his group was pleased with the ruling. "The prime contractors haven't complied with the Small Business Act for decades. Small businesses create 98 percent of net new jobs in America. The public needs to know if they're getting the share of Pentagon dollars that they deserve and that Congress intended when it passed the Small Business Act. Small businesses are being cheated out of defense dollars," he said, citing a 2015 Pentagon study which showed that under the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan "Test Program," subcontracts to small businesses had been cut in half, from 46 percent in 1995 to 24 percent in 2014.