Federal Judge Orders Pentagon To Release Secret Contracting Data

The Pentagon has lost a landmark legal battle over never seen contracting data submitted by many of their largest prime contractors.  San Francisco Federal District Court Judge, William Alsup, has ordered the Pentagon to release subcontracting data submitted by Sikorsky under the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP). The American Small Business League (ASBL) requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.)

“In the hearing Judge Alsup expressed the opinion Pentagon contracts are paid for by tax dollars and the American people have the right to see how their tax dollars are being spent. I couldn’t agree more,” said ASBL attorney Robert Belshaw.

Judge Alsup’s ruling will establish a legal precedent that will ultimately lead to the release of all the subcontracting reports that have been submitted to the CSPTP by all of the Programs participants. Boeing, BAE Systems, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation, Harris Corporation, L3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon and Sikorsky are current participants of the CSPTP.

“This case will pave the way for the the release of data that will prove the Pentagon has falsified subcontracting data for 25 years and cheated American small businesses out of well over a trillion dollars in subcontracts,” stated ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.

The Pentagon adopted the CSPTP in 1990 under the guise of “increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.” In reality the program eliminated all transparency on publicly available small business subcontracting information and any penalties for Pentagon prime contractors that failed to comply with federally mandated small business subcontracting goals.

Congress has renewed the CSPTP for 25 years even though the Pentagon has consistently refused to release any data on the program. A 2004 Government Accountability Office investigation reported, “Although the Test Program was started more than 12 years ago, DOD has yet to establish metrics to evaluate the program’s results and effectiveness.”

In September, Professor Charles Tiefer released a legal opinion of the CSPTP that 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 language in Chairman’s Mark in the House Armed Services Committee of the 2015 National Defense Authorization bill stated, “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 goal of the program…”

Both the House and the Senate have voted to renew the CSPTP into its twenty-eighth year of testing as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.) The ASBL has launched a national campaign to block the renewal of the CSPTP.