San Francisco, California – (The Hosting News) – November 28, 2005 – A suit was filed in Federal court last week by The American Small Business League against the Small Business Administration to investigate protests against large firms pretending to be small businesses to win contracts.
suit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act after the SBA refused to
release documents detailing hundreds of contracting protests filed against large
firms falsely claiming to be small businesses. ASBL attorneys have struggled to
obtain the documents over a period of eighteen months.
Several government investigations and private studies have found that billions in Federal small business contracts actually wound up in the hands of corporate giants.
According to the SBA Office of Inspector General, ”One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today is that large businesses are receiving small business procurement awards and agencies are receiving credit for these awards.”
Earlier this year the ASBL won a similar case against the SBA when Federal Judge Susan Ilston ordered the SBA to produce the original draft of a report acknowledging that over two billion dollars in small business contracts had actually gone to some of the largest corporations in the U.S. and Europe.
Lloyd Chapman, President of the ASBL commented, ”I don’t think there is any question that the SBA is trying to withhold information that will show they have known about widespread fraud and blatant abuses in Federal small business contracting programs for several years. Thousands of small businesses have needlessly suffered, some have even been forced to close, because of these staggering abuses. It’s time for the Attorney General to stop helping the SBA withhold information on contracting abuse and begin investigating which Federal officials have been involved in allowing Federal small business contracts to be awarded illegally to large corporations.”
Under federal law, falsely claiming to be a small business in order to receive a Federal small business contract is a felony with a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a $500,000 fine.