PETALUMA, Calif., Jan. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On January 6th 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the public will not be able to see any documents that have been submitted by the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors to the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) over the last 28 years.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) originally won their FOIA case against the Pentagon in November of 2014. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup ordered the Pentagon to release the Sikorsky data to the ASBL after reviewing the information and deducing nothing in the report constituted as trade secret, proprietary or confidential financial information.
Regarding the 9th circuit ruling, ASBL President Lloyd Chapman had this to say: “The Appeals Court ruling supports the ASBL’s longstanding position that the CSPTP was established under the guise of increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses when in reality it removes all transparency, allowing the Pentagon’s top contractors to violate federal contracting law and obscure all evidence of non-compliance.”
Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann supported the ASBL’s assertion that the CSPTP has actually reduced subcontracting opportunities for small businesses, commenting in an article for The Washington Post in September 2014 that the program “Has led to an erosion of the [the agencies] small business industrial base.”
The ASBL estimates that since its inception in 1989, over $5 trillion have been administered through the CSPTP with no transparency. The ASBL finds this concerning following the recent IG report showing the Pentagon can’t account for $6.5 trillion.
“The 9th circuit ruling essentially eliminates all transparency on $5 trillion in Pentagon contracts over the last 28 years; it’s not inconceivable that this ruling could eliminate transparency in contracts with the pentagon’s largest prime contractors for the next 28 years,” said Lloyd Chapman.
“I think it’s important for the public to know that the 9th circuit judges never even saw the Sikorsky documents he carefully reviewed while making his decision. Judge Alsup even accused the Pentagon and Sikorsky of trying to “suppress the evidence.” The ASBL plans on appealing its case to the Supreme Court.”