Industry group seeks access to size protest documents.


Industry group seeks access to size protest documents.

Set-Aside Alert
October 9, 400

The American Small Business League has sued SBA for access to records of size protests. The League and its president, Lloyd Chapman, believe the records will document widespread fraud by large businesses posing as small ones to get federal contracts.

"I don't think there is any question that the SBA is trying to withhold information that will show they have known about widespread fraud and blatant abuses in Federal small business contracting programs for several years," Chapman said in a statement. "It's time for the attorney general to stop helping the SBA withhold information on contracting abuse and begin investigating which federal officials have been involved in allowing Federal small business contracts to be awarded illegally to large corporations."

Chapman said the League has been trying to obtain the records for 18 months under the Freedom of Information Act.

The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco. An SBA spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment.

Chapman's complaints have sparked several investigations that turned up instances of large businesses receiving awards that were reported as going to small firms. SBA Administrator Hector Barreto has cited two primary reasons for that: a company was small when it received a contract, but outgrew its size standard during the life of the contract; or the small company was acquired by a large one. Barreto told the Senate Small Business Committee there is no widespread fraud. (SAA, 2/18)

GSA requires contractors on its Federal Supply Schedules to certify their small-business status only once every five years, when an option on the contract is exercised.

SBA has proposed requiring small firms to re-certify annually, but that regulation has been pending for more than two years.



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