PETALUMA, Calif., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Freedom of Information Act case filed against the Pentagon by the American Small Business League (ASBL) will go to trial in December 2017. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup set the trial date in an April 6, 2017 hearing on the case.
The Pentagon and Sikorsky are refusing to release Sikorsky’s small business subcontracting plan submitted to the Pentagon’s 28-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP). The Pentagon adopted the CSPTP under the pretense of “increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.” In reality the test program eliminated all transparency on small business subcontracting programs for the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors. The Pentagon has refused to release any information on the program for over 27 years.
The ASBL believes the release of the information will prove the Pentagon has defrauded small businesses out of over two trillion dollars in subcontracts since the program was established in 1989.
The ASBL won the case in Federal District Court on November 26, 2014. Judge Alsup described the ASBL’s case by stating, “So it would be more like a David and Goliath. You get to come in there and be the underdog again against the big company and against the big government.” “They are trying to suppress the evidence.”
In a November 6, 2014 hearing Judge Alsup stated, “The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is so the public can see how our government works. Congress passed this law to make small businesses have access to some of these projects, and here is the United States covering it up.”
After losing in the District Court the Pentagon and Sikorsky appealed the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. During the course of the litigation Sikorsky claimed their parent company Lockheed Martin was a competitor that would gain an unfair advantage with the release of the information submitted to the CSPTP. On January 6, 2016 the 9th Circuit Court remanded the case back to the District Court.
Judge Alsup has allowed the ASBL to conduct discovery that will include ten depositions of Pentagon and Sikorsky employees.
The ASBL is in the final stages of a documentary chronicling their efforts to end fraud in federal programs for small businesses, and small businesses owned women, minorities, and service-disabled veterans.