National Defense Authorization Bill Includes 24 Year Old Failed Test Program

Press Release

National Defense Authorization Bill Includes 24 Year Old Failed Test Program

By Lloyd Chapman
American Small Business League
May 22, 2014

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - May 22,2014) - According to the American Small Business League, the 2015 NationalDefense Authorization Bill (H.R. 4435) includes anextension of the 24 year old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program(CSPTP). Under the current bill, the CSPTP would be extended until the end of2017 even though there has never been any data that found the Test Programachieved its goals.

The CSPTP was supposed toincrease federal government subcontracting opportunities for small businessesworking with prime contractors. In reality, the Test Program has two dubiousprovisions that dramatically reduce subcontracting opportunities for smallbusinesses.

The first provision allowsparticipating prime contractors to avoid quarterly subcontracting reports thatwere once available to the public. The second provision eliminates anypenalties for non-compliance with subcontracting goals.

A 2004 investigation by the GovernmentAccountability Office (GAO) found that the Pentagon was unable to produce anydata to show the CSPTP had achieved any of the stated goals of improvingsubcontracting opportunities for small businesses. Report GAO-04-381 stated, "Although the Test Program wasstarted more than 12 years ago, DOD has yet to establish metrics to evaluatethe program's results and effectiveness."

Even the language in the currentDefense Authorization Bill acknowledges the failure of the 24 year old TestProgram stating, "However, after nearly 24 yearssince the original authorization of the program, the test program has yet toprovide evidence that it meets the original stated goal of the program..."

The American Small Business League(ASBL) believes the CSPTP was created after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appealsruled subcontracting reports were releasable to the public under the Freedom ofInformation Act. The ASBL believes the CSPTP is an intentional loophole thatallows prime contractors to circumvent federal contracting law that requiressmall businesses receive a minimum of 23% of all federal contracts andsubcontracts, and then withhold any evidence of contracting fraud.

The Pentagon has refused to complywith Freedom of Information Act requests from the ASBL for specificsubcontracting data on prime contractors participating in the Test Program. On May 12, 2014 the ASBL sued the Pentagonunder the Freedom of Information Act in federal District Court in San Franciscofor refusing to provide subcontracting data on Sikorsky.

ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated,"A 24 year old Test Program is insane. The Comprehensive SubcontractingPlan Test Program is a loophole that allows the nation's largest primecontractors to violate federal contracting law and cheat American smallbusinesses out of billions of dollars a year in federal contracts. The fact thePentagon is refusing to release any subcontracting data proves the Test Programis a scam and was intended to legalize contracting fraud. It should beeliminated, not extended."

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