Pentagon Going To Court For Refusing To Release Sikorsky Data

ASBL Sues Pentagon over 25-year-old "Sham" Test Program

Oct 29, 2014, 07:18 ET from American Small Business League

PETALUMA, Calif., Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).

The American Small Business League (ASBL) launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most recent small business subcontracting data provided under the CSPTP by Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky and British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The Pentagon has refused to comply with the ASBL's FOIA request. The ASBL filed suit against the Pentagon on May 12, 2014 in Federal District Court in San Francisco.

The ASBL filed their motion for summary judgment on Oct. 3, seeking only "for a determination regarding the releasability of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation's ("Sikorsky") Comprehensive Small Business Subcontracting Plan."

On Oct. 17, the Department of Defense (DoD) filed its opposition to ASBL's motion determining that, "the document should not be released," asserting that everything in the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan is apparently confidential trade secrets to Sikorsky and ASBL's motion is "moot."

ASBL replied on Oct. 24 with an opposition to the defendant's cross-motion by stating, "The issue is not moot, and Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling DoD to provide a legally adequate response to its FOIA request."

The CSPTP was adopted in 1989 under the pretense of "increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses." In reality the CSPTP created a colossal loophole in federal contracting law that has allowed many of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to completely circumvent all federal contracting law that mandates small business subcontracting goals.

One of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law, Professor Charles Tiefer, released a legal opinion on the CSPTP describing it as a "sham" and its extension will be "seriously harmful" to small business.

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing with the DoD to discuss the CSPTP. Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann acknowledged the Pentagon did not want the program renewed when she stated, "Although well-intended, the program has not produced quantifiable results. The Department of Defense position is to not have congress extend the CSP."

On July 2, 2014, Government Executive Journalist, Charles Clark, published a story on the CSPTP titled, "Will an Obscure Pentagon Small Business Program Live On?"

The Washington Post published a story on the CSPTP on Sept. 29 titled, "A quarter century later, Pentagon's test program for small businesses still untested."

The ASBL has released a series of press releases and blogs exposing the CSPTP.

In the House version of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill the House recommended renewing the CSPTP into it's 28th year of testing. The language renewing the CSPTP acknowledged, "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 goals of the program..."

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SOURCE American Small Business League