WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The American Small Business League (ASBL) has won release of most of the 2013 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation small business subcontracting plan (plan) filed with the Department of Defense (DOD), after a four year Freedom of Information Act battle. Most of the plan was released November 10, following the Justice Department’s October 12 notification to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco that it would no longer defend DOD-Sikorsky’s efforts to withhold the information.
Jonathan W. Cuneo, partner at Washington, DC based Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, and ASBL’s attorney, explained: “Plaintiff’s discovery that the trade secrets defense is seemingly unsupportable raises the question as to whether the defendants acted in good faith. I believe somebody is lying. Apparently, either the government knew all along that trade secrets were not at risk or the government was misled by Sikorsky. Why was this costly, lengthy litigation even necessary?”
“The most significant revelation in this case is that we’ve exposed the fact the Pentagon and its prime contractors have shortchanged small businesses and small businesses owned by women, minorities and service disabled veterans out of hundreds of billions in subcontracts,” said ASBL President Lloyd Chapman
The Sikorsky plan was filed with DOD under the controversial Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP), which is supposed to build new opportunities for small businesses.
“The Pentagon issued a report in November of 2015 that acknowledged the CSPTP had actually cut contracts to small businesses by over 50 percent. The data we have uncovered in this case indicates subcontracts to small businesses have been slashed by as much as 90 percent,” Mr. Chapman said.
University of Baltimore Law Professor and government contracting expert Charles Tiefer is not surprised. Professor Tiefer, a former Solicitor and Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives who also served as Commissioner on the congressionally mandated Independent Commission on Wartime Contracting, has called CSP a “sham.”
Professor Tiefer, who examined the Sikorsky plan, focused on the company’s socio-economic subcategories within the target small business community: “Sikorsky admitted lowering many of its goals for women-owned, veterans-owned and similar subcontractor categories. For example, it admitted its veterans-owned goal ‘is lower’ and fell below even 1 percent, down to 0.9 percent, a pittance.”
With its principal office in Washington, DC, Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP represents clients in a range of civil justice and legislative matters including civil and human rights, antitrust, consumer protection, product liability and securities and intellectual property.