SBA Spokesman Terry Sutherland MIA In Whirlwind Of Controversy
ASBL questions whereabouts of SBA Press Office Director Terry Sutherland
By Lloyd Chapman
American Small Business League
October 30, 2014
PETALUMA, Calif., Oct. 30, 2014/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recent weeks, the Small Business Administration(SBA) has faced mounting evidence that they have intentionally fabricated thenumbers in various programs designed to help small businesses.
Strangely, SBA Press Office Director TerrySutherland has been missing in action from the mediacoverage on the various controversies. Sutherland has opted out of allinterviews with journalists on every investigation and accusations from themedia that the SBA has fabricated data in virtually every small businessprogram.
On Friday August 1, 2014, SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweetannounced the Obama Administration had awarded 23.39 percent of all federalcontracts to small businesses. Almost immediately, informationbegan to surface that the SBA data had been fabricated and the SBA had included billions of dollars in federal contracts awardedto Fortune 500 firms in their small business contracting data.
On Sept. 10, AdministratorContreras-Sweet was lambasted by members of the House Small Business Committeefor diverting small business contracts to firms like Lockheed Martin, NorthropGrumman, Raytheon and Chevron.
In September, the SBA Inspector General released Report 14-18 that revealed billions of dollars in contracts that should havegone to Small Disadvantaged Businesses participating in the 8(a) and HUBZoneprograms had actually been awarded to ineligible firms that no longer qualified for the programsand the SBA had knowingly inflated the achievements in those programs.Sutherland was conspicuously absent from any media reports on the abuses.
In August, the SBA received a great deal of criticism for proposing a "safe harbor from fraud" for large businessesthat committed felony federal contracting fraud to hijack federal small businesscontracts. Again Sutherland declined to be interviewed on the controversy andrefused to make any statements.
The SBA received considerable criticism for dramatically increasing smallbusiness size standards in a wide range of industries that allowed many of thelargest firms in those areas to suddenly qualify as small businesses for the purposes offederal contracting. The Washington Post published a story on the issue titled,"How 8,500 large companies will become small businessesovernight." Sutherland declined to be interviewed for the story.
In the most recent controversy, the SBA has proposed policies to allow even more large businesses to compete for federalsmall business contracts. In one specific example the SBA has proposed toeliminate the 150-employee small business size standard for smallbusinesses that provides IT products to the federal government.
The new SBA size standard for Information Technology Value AddedResellers would increase up to 500 employees even though the averageinformation technology (IT) small business has less than 20 employees. Onceagain, Terry Sutherland has refused to comment onany of the stories on the controversial new policy.
In the most recent GAO investigation on the SBA, GAO-14-760Report said that, "the SBA failed to meet its deadline to process smallbusiness loan applications for small companies that were left destroyed in theHurricane's wake." Sutherland has refused to comment on the GAOinvestigation.
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