Pentagon Refusing To Release General Electric Contracting Data

Pentagon blocks ASBL request for GE subcontracting data

PETALUMA, Calif., June 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Pentagon is refusing to release any data that has been submitted by General Electric to the Pentagon's 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the American Small Business League (ASBL) requested the page out of GE Aviation's Small Business Subcontracting Plan that would indicate their company-wide small business subcontracting goal for fiscal year 2014. The page the ASBL received from the Pentagon had been completely redacted. 

This came just a few months after the ASBL prevailed in a federal case filed against the Pentagon in federal district court in San Francisco where Judge William Alsup ordered the Pentagon to release the complete copy of the Sikorsky's subcontracting plan. 

In April, the Pentagon eventually released to the ASBL the pages from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation's company-wide small business subcontracting plan that indicated their company-wide small business subcontracting was only 22.9 percent which is well short of the 37 percent currently required under the law.

The Pentagon is still refusing to release a complete copy of the Sikorsky subcontracting plan and is appealing the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Since Sikorsky released their subcontracting totals, the ASBL plans to file an appeal on the Pentagon's refusal to release any data on GE Aviation's subcontracting and file another case against the Pentagon if their appeal is denied.

The CSPTP was adopted in 1989 under the guise of "increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.

In reality, the CSPTP dramatically reduced opportunities for small business because of its two main provisions. First, it eliminated any publicly available documents that could be used to track a prime contractor's compliance with their subcontracting goals. Secondly, the program eliminated any and all penalties that had previously existed for Pentagon prime contractors that failed to comply with their small business subcontracting goals.

Since the program's inception over 25 years ago, the Pentagon has never been able to provide any documentation of any kind that the program has actually helped small businesses in any way.

In September of 2014, Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law, released a legal opinion on the CSPTP that stated, "The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small business to get government contracting work... Let it expire."

In late September, Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann even admitted that the program "has led to an erosion of our small business industrial base."  
Investigations by the General Accounting Office were also unable to uncover any evidence the program has helped small businesses in any way. 

"Based on all available evidence, it's clear the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program is a blatant sham that has defrauded American small businesses out of hundreds of billions in federal subcontracts. Congress should repeal the program immediately," stated ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.


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