PETALUMA – The Pentagon has filed an appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Freedom of Information case against it regarding the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).
The lawsuit was initially filed by the American Small Business League (ASBL) and won in 2014, seeking the subcontracting plan submitted by Sikorsky Aviation Corp. for the CSPTP. ASBL claims the Pentagon gives preference to large contractors through its CSPTP.
“Our goal is to force the Pentagon to release the reports that have been submitted to the CSPTP,” Lloyd Chapman, president and founder of ASBL told the Northern California Record. “We believe these reports will prove the Pentagon has allowed their largest prime contractors to cheat small businesses out of hundreds of billions in federal subcontracts since the program began in 1989. In doing so we hope we can convince Congress to abolish the program. The fact the Pentagon has refused to release even a single page of data on the program for over 25 years is clear evidence they are trying to hide the fraud and corruption we believe the program has allowed.”
In their appeals, the Pentagon and Sikorsky are fighting the motion to release names, phone numbers and email addresses of the employees of Sikorsky that are contained in the subcontracting plan, maintaining the information is proprietary and confidential. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup had ruled that the information be released.
“If we can dismantle the CSPTP, the Pentagon and its prime contractors will finally be forced to comply with federal law and legitimate small businesses will begin to receive billions in federal subcontracts as the law requires,” said Chapman. “It is hard to estimate, but I would estimate small businesses could see an increase of up to $100 billion a year in subcontract. That number may sound large, but federal law requires a 37 percent small business subcontracting goal and Lockheed Martin alone received around $100 billion in federal prime contracts last year. That could be up to $37 billion in subcontracts just from Lockheed and there are about 15 of the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors participating in the CSPTP.”
The ASBL is asking for more transparency from the Pentagon, which it believes the CSPTP is designed to prevent.
“More transparency means less fraud and more compliance with the law,” said Chapman. “Why do you think the Pentagon wants no transparency on small business subcontracting? They want to be able to violate the law and not be held accountable for it.”
ASBL expects a strong outcome from the suit as it believes the program is cheating small business out of contracts with federal government.
“I expect we will win, the Pentagon will be forced to release all the reports going back several years and it will prove the Pentagon and many of its largest prime contractors have committed fraud in the reporting of federal small business subcontracting data,” said Chapman. “I suspect the data will prompt a congressional hearing and possibly a criminal investigation.”