Economic hardship and job losses will come from DoD interpretation
WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders of the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) have denounced the recent federal court ruling in DynaLantic Corp. v. Department of Defense. The resulting response of the Department of Defense (DoD) to suspend awards to all 8(a) companies is overreaching, unnecessary, and will result in job losses in a less than stellar economy.
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled last week that the SBA 8(a) program is generally constitutional "on its face," and the court also enjoined the DoD from awarding 8(a) contracts to small businesses in the "simulator training equipment industry." In essence, the reasoning for enjoining the awarding of 8(a) contracts for the acquisition of simulator "equipment" was that Congress did not have evidence that DoD had engaged in past discrimination against minority-owned "simulator manufacturers" when it set aside awards under the 8(a) program. As a result, in "broad brush" fashion, DoD has suspended all 8(a) awards to minority-owned small business that provide any type of service to the federal government through the Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Acquisition Center.
Kevin Allis, NACA's Executive Director stated, "Clearly, DoD fails to understand the proper scope of this ruling. If the decision was properly understood, DoD would not have taken any action with respect to procurements to those contractors that provide 'services,' and not 'equipment' to DoD's training divisions." Allis also noted "DoD's actions are unacceptable, and come at a critical time for 8(a) contractors. Many of the awards that were expected to begin in the upcoming fiscal year (FY2013), are now being cancelled, or placed on hold, thereby jeopardizing the livelihood of these entities."
Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of USHCC, stated, "Minority businesses already face discriminatory barriers in access to credit and capital, bonding, bid opportunities and business networks. This decision will serve as yet another barrier for minority business participation in government contracting. We will continue to work with our corporate partners, most of whom are strong supporters of the 8(a) program, to fight efforts by DynaLantic and companies like it to roll back a program that is improving the quality of the federal marketplace."
NACA and USHCC have long advocated for the federal government to meet its goals of 23% for the utilization of small business in the federal procurement market. Palomarez stated, "This confusing court ruling harms the government's commitment to minority business across the board."
For more information, please contact Jennine Elias at (202) 758-2676.
NACA is a national Native advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., and represents Tribal, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native Hawaiian Organizations across the country. NACA seeks to protect the economic self-sufficiency of America's indigenous people that is enhanced through the participation of its members in the SBA 8(a) program. NACA's members represent and provide benefits for nearly 700,000 Tribal members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of over 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate nearly $460 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States and Puerto Rico.
SOURCE Native American Contractors Association