Pentagon "Sham" Test Program Backed by Government Accountability Office Executive

ASBL Challenges GAO Report Backing "Sham" Pentagon Test Program

Nov 23, 2015, 08:58 ET from American Small Business League

PETALUMA, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Government Accountability Office (GAO) Director, William Woods, has recommended a 25-year-old Pentagon Test Program that legal experts have described as a "sham" become permanent. The Pentagon has refused to release any information on the controversial Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) for over twenty-five years.

The Pentagon adopted the CSPTP in 1989 after subcontracting reports on many of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors revealed the Pentagon had fabricated data to intentionally misrepresent the true percentage of federal contracts that had been awarded to small businesses.

The CSPTP was adopted under the guise of increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. In reality the program eliminated all transparency on Pentagon prime contractor's subcontracting programs and eliminated any penalties for prime contractors that did not comply with federally mandated small business subcontracting plans.

In 2004, the GAO-04-381 investigation found that the "DOD has yet to establish metrics to evaluate the program's results and effectiveness.  As a result, there is no systematic way of determining whether the program is meeting its intended objectives."

In September, Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann told The Washington Post, "Although the test program was started more than 12 years ago, DOD has yet to establish metrics to evaluate the program's results and effectiveness."

In a subsequent interview for The Blaze, Schumann stated, "Although well-intended, the program has not produced quantifiable results. The Department of Defense position is to not have congress extend the CSP."

After Woods recommended that Congress should consider making the CSPTP permanent, the Pentagon released a graph that indicated since the test program began, subcontracts to small businesses had actually dropped by 50 percent.

Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law, issued a legal opinion on the CSPTP. He 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."

Longtime small business advocate and Executive Director of the Small Business Technology Council, Jere Glover, stated, "I agree with the DOD. This program has resulted in reducing small business subcontracting by close to 50 percent and almost $50 billion. This program should be terminated."

ASBL President, Lloyd Chapman, has been the most outspoken critic of the CSPTP. "Mr. Woods' motives and methods in recommending the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program be made permanent appear very suspect. It would have been impossible for him to evaluate the effectiveness of the test program since the Pentagon has refused to release any data that could be used to evaluate the program. The information that is available clearly indicates the Test Program is as Professor Tiefer stated a "sham" that has cheated American small businesses out of hundreds of billions in subcontracts over the last 25 years. I plan to ask the GAO Office of Inspector General to investigate Mr. Woods and his report."

Contact: Steve Godfrey
sgodfrey@asbl.com
707-789-9575

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SOURCE American Small Business League