White House Canceled Small Business Event to Avoid Tough Questions

ASBL Research Prompts Public Citizen Investigative Report "Slighted"

PETALUMA, Calif., May 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It appears the White House may have canceled a major event to avoid tough questions for SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet after government watchdog group, Public Citizen, released a damming report titled "Slighted."

The subtitle of the 20 page investigative report was "Accounting Tricks Create False Impression That Small Businesses Are Getting Their Share of Federal Procurement Money, and the Political Factors That Might Be at Play.

The report found the small business contracting data, that the Obama Administration had planned to release at the White House event on Friday May 8, had been grossly inflated.

It was anticipated the event was to be held at the White House, for the first time in recent history, to announce a record level of federal contracts that had been awarded to small businesses in fiscal year 2014. It was announced the event was to be lead by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and was to be attended by several members of the President's cabinet and other senior Obama Administration officials. 

The decision to cancel the event came late Thursday afternoon approximately an hour after Washington journalist Kent Hoover of the Washington Business Journal contacted SBA Press Office Director Terry Sutherland's office in response to the Public Citizen report. Hoover asked for a list of the top 100 recipients of federal small business contracts for fiscal year 2014. Hoover had also told Sutherland's office he intended to ask SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet what the SBA had done to insure the accuracy of the data. 

The Public Citizen report mirrored numerous federal investigations and investigative reports that uncovered the Obama Administration had consistently inflated their small business contracting data by including billions of dollars in contracts to Fortune 500 firms.

Every year of the Obama Administration, SBA Inspector General Peg Gustafson has named the diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses as the number one problem at the SBA. The Obama Administration has consistently refused to adopt any legislation or policies to halt the widespread fraud and abuse.

The SBA Press Office has repeatedly stuck to its excuse that thousands of large businesses have received billions in federal small business contracts year, after year as a result of random errors they describe as "anomalies, miscoding, computer glitches, data entry errors and simple human error."

The White House may have canceled Friday's event to prevent SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet from being questioned by Hoover and other journalists about the Public Citizen report and why the supposed random errors in federal small business contracting do not have a random pattern of distribution. Journalists were expected to ask why the supposed random errors appear to be deliberate and intentional and always dramatically inflate the true volume of federal contracts awarded to small businesses by including billions in contracts to Fortune 500 firms and their subsidiaries. 

SBA spokesman Terry Sutherland has not announced a new date for the Small Business Procurement Scorecard's release.


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