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SBA accused of falsifying small business contracting data

Central Valley Business Times
December 4, 2007

The Small Business Administration is falsifying data to cover up the fact that Fortune 500 firms have received most small business contracts dollars in recent years, charges the American Small Business League of Petaluma.

Citing a New York Times story, the ASBL says large defense contractors are using “millions of dollars” of federal small business contracts. The story said that General Dynamics had 47 small business contracts, Northrop Grumman had 121 small business contracts and Boeing had 37.

"Clearly this is an attempt by the SBA to do what they have always done; to cover up the fact that Fortune 500 corporations are actually the recipients of most small business contracts," says Lloyd Chapman, president of ASBL.

But the SBA has a different point of view.

“The large companies mentioned -- which acquired small businesses that held federal contracts -- are simply not among the Top 100 companies holding small business contracts,” says Michael Stamler, a spokesman for the SBA. “And in any case, those companies will be reclassified as large companies over the course of the next year as a result of new regulations announced by SBA last summer.”

Mr. Chapman says his organization plans to sue the SBA “a means of forcing them to release the names of all the firms that received small business contracts for FY 2005 and FY 2006, which should total $75.1 and $77.8 billion respectively."

Mr. Stamler contends the information is readily available.

“As to the threat of lawsuit over acquiring a full list of small business contractors, that full list is and always has been public record available through the Federal Procurement Data System, available to anyone, anywhere,” Mr. Stamler says.

But Mr. Chapman says the SBA's list of the Top 100 small business contractors “flies in the face of more than 15 federal investigations that have found fraud, abuse, loopholes and a lack of oversight in federal small business contracting."