Congress Could Renew 25-Year-Old "Sham" Pentagon Test Program

ASBL Continues Battle To Block Renewal Of Sham Pentagon Test Program

Nov 11, 2014, 07:13 ET from American Small Business League

PETALUMA, Calif., Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill currently includes the renewal of a 25-year-old Pentagon test program that has been described as a "sham" by Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law.

Professor Tiefer's legal opinion on the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) stated, "the program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small business to get government contracting work… There is no doubt in my mind the CSPTP has significantly reduced subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. It should not have gotten its 25 years of extension as a never-tested 'Test Program.' Let it expire."

American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman has been campaigning against the CSPTP for several years. Chapman ramped up the ASBL's campaign to block the renewal of the CSPTP in May of 2014.

The Pentagon originally adopted the CSPTP in 1990 under the guise of increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.  In reality the CSPTP created a loophole in federal contracting law that allowed many of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to circumvent federal law establishing small business subcontracting goals.

The CSPTP eliminated all transparency and penalties for prime contractors that failed to achieve their small business subcontracting goals. The ASBL estimates in the 25 years since the CSPTP began, small businesses may have been defrauded out of over one trillion dollars in subcontracts.

In 2004, a GAO investigation into the CSPTP found no evidence that the program had ever achieved its stated goal of increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.

Even the language in the House version renewing the CSPTP into its 28th year of testing stated, "However, after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the test program has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goal of the program..."

In the 25 years since the CSPTP began the Pentagon has consistently refused to release even a single page of documentation on the actual performance of the program to increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.

The ASBL has now filed three Freedom of Information cases against the Pentagon trying to obtain any specific small business subcontracting data on prime contractors participating in the program.

"I think Professor Tiefer's statement that the CSPTP is a "sham" is an understatement. I think the CSPTP is one of the largest examples of fraud at the Pentagon in history. It would be absolutely insane for Congress to renew this blatantly fraudulent sham test program into its 28th year of testing so its almost certain they will do just that. I expect the ASBL will prevail in our legal campaign to force the release of data submitted under the CSPTP and when we do I believe it will reveal over a trillion dollars in fraud by many of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated.

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SOURCE American Small Business League