Congress Renews 25-Year-Old Test Program Pentagon Wants to Expire
ASBL Lawsuit Tries to Halt Renewal of 25-Year-Old Test Program
By Lloyd Chapman
American Small Business League
December 9, 2014
PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2014) -The House of Representatives has voted to renew the Pentagon's 25-year-oldComprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test program into its 28th year of testingafter Pentagon spokeswoman MaureenSchumann stated that the Pentagon wanted the Test Program to expire.
The Senate is expected to renew the TestProgram by the end of the week as part of the 2015 National DefenseAuthorization Act (NDAA).
In 2010, the American Small Business League(ASBL) launched a national campaign to block the renewal of the Test Program.In September, Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts infederal contracting law, released a legal opinion thatdescribed the program as a "sham". His legal opinion states,"The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful tovital opportunities for small business to get government contracting work...Let it expire."
Professor Tiefer's legal opinion promptedseveral journalists to published stories that were very critical of the TestProgram. As a result, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing todiscuss the future of the Test Program.
The Hill published a blog written by ASBLPresident Lloyd Chapman titled, "Pull the plug on Pentagon's25-year-old test program."
The Pentagon adopted the ComprehensiveSubcontracting Plan Test Program in 1990 under the pretense of "increasing subcontractingopportunities for small businesses." In reality the TestProgram eliminated all transparency and penalties for small businesssubcontracting programs for the Pentagon's larges prime contractors. ThePentagon has consistently refused to release any data on the Test Program formore than twenty-five years.
As a test case the ASBL requested the mostrecent subcontracting report submitted by Sikorsky Aviation Corporation underthe Test Program using the Freedom of Information Act. The ASBL filed suit in Federal DistrictCourt in San Francisco after the Pentagon refused to release thedata.
On Nov. 23, Federal Judge William Alsup ruled in favor of the ASBLand ordered the Sikorsky data to bereleased by December 3, 2014. On Dec. 2, the Office of Solicitor General intervened on behalf of thePentagon and asked the court for a 60-day stay on the release of thedata.
The ASBL believes the request for a 60 daystay was designed to prevent the release of very damaging information on theTest Program that could have jeopardized the renewal of the program byCongress. The House voted to renew the TestProgram into its 28th year of testing on Dec. 2.
The Senate is also expected to vote to renewthe Test Program this week as part of the 2015 National Defense AuthorizationAct (NDAA) in spite of the Pentagon's position to let the program expire.
"It's astounding no one has ever seenany data on this blatant anti-small business scam and yet Congress will vote torenew it into its 28th year," said ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.
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