PETALUMA, Calif., Oct. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On September 14, 2016 the ASBL waged a national campaign opposing language in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would cripple Federal small business contracting and subcontracting programs. Thousands of American small businesses will lose billions of dollars in Federal contracts if Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John McCain, is allowed to include his anti-small business language in the 2017 NDAA.
The first provision in Senator McCain's version of the 2017 NDAA would make the Pentagon's controversial 27-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) permanent. The CSPTP was adopted in 1989 under the guise of "increasing subcontracting opportunities for small business" after the Pentagon was forced to release small business subcontracting reports that indicated Pentagon prime contractors were not complying with federal small business subcontracting laws and regulations.
Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann supported the ASBL's assertion that the CSPTP is ineffective, commenting in an article for The Washington Post in September 2014 that the program "Has led to an erosion of the [the agencies] small business industrial base." Schumann commented again later that year in The Blaze, "Although well intended, the program has not produced quantifiable results. The Department of Defense position is to not have Congress extend the CSP."
Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law, released a legal opinion on the CSPTP describing it as a "sham." In his legal opinion Professor Tiefer 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."
The NDAA bill (S.2943) includes two additional provisions, the first of which would allow the Pentagon to fabricate compliance with the federal government's 23% small business contracting goal by merging first and second tier subcontracts with prime contracts
The third provision would exclude small businesses from participating in all foreign contracts. Criticism over the lack of transparency in federal overseas contracting extends back to 2004, with a GAO report stating "Without accurate and complete information on subcontracts to firms performing outside the U.S., (the Department of Defense) cannot make informed decisions on industrial base issues."
The ASBL's national campaign against the NDAA provisions has caught on in Washington. On September 30th, weeks after the ASBL launched their campaign, the SBA's Associate Administrator for Government Contracting, John Shoraka, told Forbes that they are in agreement with the ASBL's sentiment that section 838 would have a negative impact on small businesses.
"I'm glad the SBA has finally decided to join us in opposing what can only be described as anti-small business language included by McCain in the 2017 NDAA," stated ASBL President Lloyd Chapman. "These three provisions would devastate the middle class economy, putting millions of small businesses out of business."
Contact: Kyle Hilmoe
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SOURCE American Small Business League