PETALUMA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/14 -- According to the American Small Business League, Missouri Congressman Sam Graves is backing a 25 year old Pentagon program that allows the Pentagon's 15 largest prime contractors to circumvent federal law that requires 23% of all federal contracts be awarded to small businesses.
The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program was adopted in 1990 after information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act began to surface that indicated the Pentagon was fabricating their compliance with the 20% small business subcontracting goals required under federal law at that time.
The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program was disguised as a test plan to increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses but it was very carefully written to do just the opposite.
Prime contractors participating in the Test Program no longer had to provide quarterly small business subcontracting plans that could be monitored by Congress, the media and the public to ensure compliance with their small business subcontracting goals. The Test Program effectively removed all transparency.
The final provision of the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program was the elimination of all penalties such as "liquidated damages" for Pentagon prime contractors that did not comply with their small business subcontracting goals.
Once penalties for non-compliance with subcontracting goals were eliminated, along with the quarterly reports that had been used to monitor compliance with subcontracting goals, prime contractors could no longer be held accountable in any way for ignoring congressionally mandated small business subcontracting goals.
For 25 years the Pentagon has refused to provide any data on the Test Program. A 2004 GAO investigation and the language in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill acknowledges the Pentagon has never released any information that shows the Test Program has achieved any of its goals. The Pentagon is also refusing to release any information on the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program under the Freedom of Information Act.
Although Graves has backed a plan to increase the federal small business contracting goal from 23% to 25%, he has refused to back legislation, such as H.R. 1622 The Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act, that would stop Fortune 500 firms from qualifying as small businesses.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) estimates during the 25 years of the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program, American small businesses have been cheated out of well over one trillion dollars in federal subcontracts.
ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated, "Congressman Graves' 25% small business contracting goal is a ruse. What difference does it make what the small business contracting goal is when federal policies allow Fortune 500 firms to land small business contracts? They could make it 100% and it still wouldn't mean anything. His support for the Pentagon's 25 year old anti-small business Test Program is why the ASBL considers him to be one of the most anti-small business members in Congress."