Small Business Advocate's List Shows Many Large Firms Getting Set Asides


Small Business Advocate's List Shows Many Large Firms Getting Set Asides

By Charles S. Clark
Government Executive
October 9, 1600

The gadfly American Small Business League's new annual list of Fortune 500companies it argues are grabbing undeserved federal contracts includes suchhousehold names as Verizon, Wellpoint, Target and Boeing.

"Year after year, large corporations illegally receive billions of dollarsin small business contracts intended for legitimate small businesses," said a recentrelease from the Petaluma, Calif.,-based league run by Lloyd Chapman.

Among the top 179 federal contract award winners in fiscal 2014, by theleague's analysis, were Verizon Communications ($125,949,391); WellPoint($27,092,843); Boeing ($7,596,087); Raytheon ($3,878,029);IBM ($3,379,118);General Dynamics ($2,577,577); United Technologies ($2,498,067); andLockheed Martin ($2,441,197).

The league has long attackedthe Small Business Administration's methodology for determining who qualifiesas a small business and is hence eligible for set-asides that every agency isunder mandate to honor.

The SBA, while taking no position on the league's methodology, argued in aFriday statement that legitimate small firms might appear as large ones becauseof the growth of a business, mergers and acquisitions, or human data entryerror by a contracting officer. "SBA has no tolerance for fraud,waste and abuse, and takes corrective steps when actionable information comesto light," an official said. "Over the past seven years, SBA has initiated moregovernmentwide suspension and debarment actions than in the previous 10years. The fact that a contract awarded to a large business is coded in adatabase as an award to a small business does not mean that the contract wastaken away from a small business or that small businesses suffered."

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