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Congress to Renew Failed Pentagon Test Program Into Its 28th Year

PETALUMA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/28/14 -- According to the American Small Business League, an April 2004 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Report GAO-04-381, found no evidence of any kind that the Pentagon's Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) was achieving its goal of improving subcontracting opportunities for small businesses and yet the "Test" Program was renewed for another ten years until the end of 2014.

The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) began in 1990 and has now been in effect for almost 25 years and yet no test results of any kind have ever been released to the public. Even the language in the bill admits there is no evidence it has achieved any of its goals. Now President Obama and Congress want to extend what critics believe is an anti-small business loophole for prime contractors into its 28th year, 2017.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) believes the GAO investigation proves the 25 year old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program is a significant loophole in federal contracting law created by the Pentagon. The CSPTP has allowed the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to circumvent the federal law that requires 23% of all federal contracts and subcontracts to be awarded to small businesses since the program began in 1990.

The stated mission of the CSPTP was to improve subcontracting opportunities for small businesses with Pentagon prime contractors. The CSPTP contained two dubious provisions that seemed to be in complete contradiction to its stated mission. First, prime contractors participating in the program were no longer required to submit quarterly subcontracting reports that were available to the public. This precluded journalists, Congress and the public from having access to documents to determine if prime contractors were in compliance with small business subcontracting goals.

Second, prime contractors participating in the CSPTP were exempt from any penalties for non-compliance with their subcontracting goals such as liquidated damages.

The Pentagon refused to implement the GAO 2004 recommendation to "develop metrics to assess the overall results of the Test Program."

The Pentagon is now refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests from the American Small Business League for copies of the annual subcontracting reports submitted by prime contractors participating in the program and for a complete copy of the most recent evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.

The CSPTP participants include, BAE Systems, Boeing Company, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Harris Corporation, L3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon and Sikorsky.

The ASBL filed a Freedom of Information Act case against the Pentagon on May 12, 2014 in federal District Court in San Francisco.

ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated, "The fact Congress wants to extent a failed Pentagon test program into its 28th year is absolutely insane. The Pentagon's refusal to release any data on the program is a clear indication they have something significant to hide and I think it's billions of dollars in federal contracting fraud."

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