PETALUMA, Calif., Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Francisco 9th Circuit of Appeals will hear the American Small Business League's (ASBL) Freedom Of Information Act Request case against the Pentagon on December 14, 2016. The trial is being held following the Pentagon's appeal to overturn the ruling that they disclose Sikorsky Aviation Corporations most recent subcontracting plan submitted to the Pentagon's Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).
The ASBL originally won their Freedom of Information Act case against the Pentagon in November of 2014. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ordered the Pentagon to release the Sikorsky data to the ASBL after reviewing the information and determining nothing in the report constituted as trade secret, proprietary or confidential financial information.
In his ruling, Judge Alsup described the ASBL as being an underdog in a David and Goliath battle against the "big company" and against the "big government." He also accused the Pentagon of "covering it up" in reference to the information the ASBL requested. In a subsequent hearing, Judge Alsup accused the Pentagon and Sikorsky of trying to "suppress the evidence."
During the District Court case, Judge Alsup instructed the Pentagon and Sikorsky on two separate occasions to "highlight the parts that are supposedly confidential" or that they believed were proprietary and explain why they believed the information should be exempt. The Pentagon declined to comply with Judge Alsup's request.
The ASBL believes the CSPTP has allowed the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to circumvent small business subcontracting goals by eliminating all transparency and penalties for non-compliance. Professor Charles Tiefer, a leading expert on federal contracting law, agrees and has written a legal opinion calling the CSPTP a "sham" and "seriously harmful" to small businesses.
The Pentagon and Sikorsky have now filed two separate appellant briefs. They are objecting to the release of the phone numbers and email addresses of Sikorsky's employees along with the names of Sikorsky's small business subcontractors.
"I believe the reason that the Pentagon and Sikorsky are fighting so hard to withhold this information is because it will reveal that they are not only fabricating compliance with federal small business contracting goals, but awarding contracts to their own subsidiaries. Once we've won this case, we will seek restitution," stated ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.
Contact: Kyle Hilmoe
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SOURCE American Small Business League