Congress Renews Pentagon Anti-Transparency Program Until 2027

PETALUMA, Calif., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a surprising move Congress has renewed the embattled Pentagon Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) into its 38th year of testing, 2027. The renewal of the CSPTP was included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

The CSPTP was originally adopted in 1989 under the guise of “increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.” For over 27 years the Pentagon claimed they were “testing” whether eliminating all transparency on the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors subcontracting programs and eliminating any penalties for non-compliance with small business subcontracting goals would actually increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.

In 2014 the Pentagon asked that Congress not renew the program.  Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann acknowledged the CSPTP had actually reduced subcontracting opportunities for small businesses and “reduced the Pentagon’s small business industrial supplier base.”

Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation’s leading experts on federal contracting law released a legal opinion on the CSPTP, describing it as a “sham” and seriously harmful to small businesses.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) filed suit against the Pentagon in 2014 after the Pentagon refused to release the small business subcontracting plan submitted to the CSPTP by Sikorsky Aircraft. During the case Federal District Court Judge William Alsup described the ASBL as being an underdog in a David and Goliath against the “big company.” In a subsequent hearing Judge Alsup accused the Pentagon of “suppressing the evidence.”

ASBL President Lloyd Chapman issued this statement regarding the renewal of the CSPTP: “This is absolutely astounding, a program that was specifically designed to cheat small businesses out of trillions and cover up all evidence of blatant fraud has now been renewed by Congress into its 38th year. This is a prime example of why so many American’s are outraged by our government.”

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