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Advocates sue for access to contract data.

The American Small Business League has sued SBA, charging the agency is withholding information about contracting abuse.

The League, an advocacy group based in Petaluma, CA, said SBA has refused to release the names of Fortune 1000 companies that received small-business contracts in 2005 and 2006. The League sought the information through Freedom of Information Act requests. The suit was fried Feb. 6 in federal court for the Northern District of California.

League President Lloyd Chapman has long contended that large corporations are masquerading as small ones to receive set-aside contracts.

SBA said the information Chapman seeks is available from two federal databases, www.fpds.gov and www. usaspending.gov.

SBA led a scrub of those databases last year to remove inaccurate information about federal contracts. Chapman said that was part of a "cover-up."

"I am sure that we will win this lawsuit." Chapman said. "I want people to know that when the government diverts $100 billion a year in contracts from middle class America, there is a staggering negative economic impact. I don't think there is any question that the Bush Administration's anti-small business policies have been a contributing factor to our nation's current economic woes."

Before the data scrub, Eagle Eye Publishers found that the federal procurement database listed some of the largest corporations as receiving awards categorized as "small business," including Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. (SAA, 3/9/07)

After the scrub, SBA said only one of the top 100 small business contractors in 2006 was a large company miscoded as small.

SBA's list of the top 100 included 11 companies that had been acquired by large businesses. (SAA, 12/7/07) Under a new rule effective last year, companies are required to re-certify their small business eligibility after a merger or acquisition.
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Publication:Set-Aside Alert
Date:Feb 22, 2008
Words:297
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