Pentagon Ordered To Release Data on 25-Year-Old “Sham” Test Program
ASBL wins landmark legal victory over the Pentagon
By Lloyd Chapman
American Small Business League
October 9, 7200
PETALUMA, Calif., Dec. 2, 2014/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Federal Judge William Alsupof the Northern District Federal Court has ordered the Pentagon to releasefederal subcontracting data no private citizen, journalist or member ofCongress has ever been allowed to see.
The Pentagon was ordered to release subcontracting data on Sikorsky AviationCorporation that had been submitted under the 25-year-old ComprehensiveSubcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).
The information had been requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the American SmallBusiness League (ASBL) as atest case in response to the Pentagon’s refusal to release any data on theCSPTP in over 25 years.
The CSPTP was adopted in 1990 under the pretense of “increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.“In reality the program did just the opposite and eliminated all publiclyavailable reports and all penalties for non-compliance with subcontractinggoals for the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors.
During the last 25 years the Pentagon has refused to release any data on the program. The ASBL’slegal victory will result in the first public access to documents on the CSPTPsince it began in 1990.
“Judge Alsup’s ruling will be the first step in forcing thePentagon to release every single document that has been submitted to the CSPTPby every prime contractor that has participated in the program since 1990. Ibelieve these documents will prove the Pentagon has been complicit in hundredsof billions in fraud in subcontracting programs. Once we receive the documentswe will begin to provide them to the FBI and the Government AccountabilityOffice for investigation,” said ASBL President LloydChapman.
In September of this year one of America’s leading experts onfederal contracting law, Professor Charles Tiefer,released a legal opinion that harshly criticized the CSPTP andreferred to it as a “sham.” Professor Tiefer’s opinion stated,”The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful tovital opportunities for small business… There is no doubt in my mind theCSPTP has significantly reduced subcontracting opportunities for smallbusinesses. It should not have gotten its 25 years of extension as anever-tested ‘Test Program.’ Let it expire.”
Both the House and Senate have voted to extend the CSPTP intoits twenty-eighth year of testing even though no member of Congress has everseen a single report on the program in over 25 years. The Chairman’s Mark ofthe 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill stated, “However,after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the testprogram has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goal ofthe program…”
The ASBL’s lawsuit to obtain data on the CSPTP was part of a national campaign they launched in 2010 to halt therenewal of the program. The ASBL is the only national small businessadvocacy group to ever criticize the program publicly.
“The Pentagon’s refusal to release any data on the CSPTP inover 25 years proves Professor Tiefer was right when he referred to it as asham. I’m confident the data we will receive will convince Congress not torenew this blatantly anti-small business program. Congress should launch aninvestigation into the program and all of its participants,” Chapmanstated.
Judge Alsup has ordered the Pentagon to release the data by Dec. 3.
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