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Federal Court Ruling Could Kill 25-Year-Old Pentagon Test Program

PETALUMA, Calif., Dec. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Congress has voted to renew a 25-year-old Pentagon program titled the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP). Federal District Court Judge William Alsup has ordered the Pentagon to release potentially damaging information that has been submitted under the CSPTP by one of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors, Sikorsky Aviation Corporation. This will be the first time in a quarter of a century anyone has ever seen any data on the CSPTP.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) request for the most recent data submitted by Sikorsky under the CSPTP as a test case to challenge the Pentagon's refusal to release any information on the program.

The ASBL believes the data could be so damaging it could convince President Obama and Congress not to renew the CSPTP into its 28th year of testing.

The case was part of a national campaign launched by ASBL President Lloyd Chapman to block the renewal of the CSPTP.

Several stories have already been released on Judge Alsup's ruling and the impact it could have on the release of more data.

The Pentagon adopted the CSPTP in 1990 under the pretense of "increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses." It appears the true purpose of the program was to do just the opposite. In reality the CSPTP eliminated all publicly available data on a prime contractor's compliance with their small business subcontracting goals. It also eliminated any penalties prime contractors had previously faced for non-compliance with their small business subcontracting goals such as liquidated damages.

"Removing all transparency and penalties for Pentagon prime contractor's as a means to increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses is ludicrous," Chapman stated. "This program was clearly designed as a loophole to allow the Pentagon and its largest prime contractors to circumvent federal law establishing small business subcontracting goals and cheat small businesses. It would be criminal to renew this blatant anti-small business program into its twenty-eighth year of testing."

In September, Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law issued a legal opinion of the CSPTP. It stated, "The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small business to get government contracting work... There is no doubt in my mind the CSPTP has significantly reduced subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. It should not have gotten its 25 years of extension as a never-tested 'Test Program.' Let it expire."

The renewal of the CSPTP until 2017 is currently included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is probable that Congress will vote on the bill before the December recess.

Judge William Alsup has ordered the Pentagon to release Sikorsky's Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan to the ASBL no later than December 3, 2014.

"I'll be stunned if we receive the information on December 3rd as Judge Alsup ordered. This information is so explosive it will block the renewal of the CSPTP in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill. I predict the Pentagon will do whatever it takes to withhold the release of this information until after Congress has renewed the program," stated Lloyd Chapman.

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CONTACT: Steve Godfrey ASBL Communications Director 707-789-9675 sgodfrey@asbl.comSource:American Small Business League