SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

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Pentagon Refusing to Release Contracting Data on British Aerospace & Engineering

PETALUMA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/24/14 -- According to the American Small Business League, the Pentagon is refusing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request from the American Small Business League (ASBL) for contracting data on British Aerospace and Engineering (BAE).

The ASBL specifically requested the most recent subcontracting data submitted by British Aerospace under the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP). The Pentagon has also refused to release any data Lockheed Martin or Sikorsky have submitted as participants of the CSPTP.

The Pentagon adopted the CSPTP back in 1990 as a test program. According to the website for the CSPTP, "The purpose of the test is to determine whether comprehensive subcontracting plans will result in increased subcontracting opportunities for small businesses while reducing the administrative burden on contractors."

The CSPTP has just two provisions. First, participating contractors are no longer required to submit publicly available subcontracting reports that could be used to verify a firm's compliance with federal small business contracting goals. Second, contractors are exempt from any penalties such as "liquidated damages" for non-compliance with their small business contracting goals.

In essence, under the guise of increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses, the CSPTP eliminated all transparency and penalties for many of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors.

After nearly a quarter of a century, the Pentagon has never released any reports or analysis of the CSPTP. Both the House and Senate versions of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill propose extending the CSPTP into its 28th year of testing.

Section 811 of the Chairman's Mark of the 2015 National Defense Authorization bill states, "However, after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the test program has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goals of the program..."

A 2004 Government Accountability Office investigation of the CSPTP also found no evidence the test program had ever increased subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. A story in Gov. Exec questioned the future of the program.

The ASBL has already filed suit in Federal District Court in San Francisco against the Pentagon for their refusal to release CSPTP data on Sikorsky. They will be filing two new cases against the Pentagon for refusing to comply with their Freedom of Information Act requests for data on Lockheed Martin and British Aerospace and Engineering.

ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated, "Think of the magnitude of the scam the Pentagon has pulled off for 25 years by removing all transparency and penalties on small business contracting goals as a test to increase opportunities for small businesses. This is one of the most blatant cases of fraud and corruption I have ever seen in government."

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