Federal Agencies to Face Legal Challenge Over Small Business Contracting Data
October 25, 2007
After receiving Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the American Small Business league, federal agencies that received a green score on the recent Small Business Administration scorecard are refusing to release the names of firms who received awards coded as small business procurement awards for FY 05 and FY 06.
On September 20th, the ASBL filed FOIA requests with the General Services Administration, the Small Business Administration, The United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
None of these federal agencies have agreed to supply the small business contracting data as specified. As a result, the ASBL is preparing to file a series of federal lawsuits in the district court in San Francisco to force compliance with their requests.
Since 2004, the ASBL has won a series of federal lawsuits that have forced federal agencies to release information, which has shown that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts reported as going to small businesses actually wound up in the hands of some of the largest companies in the world.
Information the ASBL has obtained through FOIA lawsuits has uncovered the fact that firms like Boeing, Bechtel and Lockheed Martin have received billions of dollars in federal small business contracts.
The ASBL is preparing to take the government to court to release more of this data. The ASBL contends that the recovered data will show that the federal government has dramatically inflated the percentage of small business contracts awarded to small businesses.
“It is time for congress to step in and pass legislation that will force the federal government to make this data publicly available and stem the flow of small business contracts to some of the largest companies in the world,” President of the ASBL, Lloyd Chapman said. “It is ridiculous that no one has been able to obtain this data and that we are going to have to go to federal court again to simply find out where these small business contracts are going.”
ASBL is drafting a piece of legislation, which they expect to be introduced shortly that will require the federal government to publish the names of firms coded as small businesses for the purpose of achieving the small business procurement goal within 90 days of the end of each fiscal year.