PETALUMA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/16/14 -- According to the American Small Business League, the House Armed Services Committee, headed by Congressman Howard P. McKeon, has passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill that includes an extension of a 25 year old Pentagon anti-small business test program.
H.R. 4435 includes an extension of the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) into its 28th year of testing. The Pentagon adopted the CSPTP in 1990 under the guise of testing changes in federal contracting law to determine if those changes would increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.
The changes eliminated any subcontracting plans and reports that had once been available to the public, along with the elimination of "liquidated damages" for prime contractors that failed to achieve their small business subcontracting goals.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) believes the CSPTP was not adopted to increase subcontracting opportunities for small business, but to eliminate transparency and penalties for prime contractors that did not comply with federal law establishing small business subcontracting goals.
During the 25 years the CSPTP has been tested, the Pentagon has never released any data showing that the elimination of transparency and penalties for prime contractors has actually increased subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.
In fact, the language in Section 811 of the Chairman's Mark of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Bill that extends the CSPTP into its 28th year of testing states,
A 2004 Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program also concluded there was no evidence the program had increased subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.
In 2010 several members of Congress requested another GAO investigation into the CSPTP, but the GAO declined to launch the investigation.
The American Small Business League estimates small businesses may have been defrauded out of in excess of one trillion dollars in subcontracts since the program began in 1990. The ASBL is suing the Pentagon in Federal District Court in San Francisco after the Pentagon refused to release any subcontracting data from the CSPTP under the Freedom of Information Act.
The ASBL is also contacting Chambers of Commerce around the country as part of a national campaign to stop the renewal of the CSPTP.