Public Citizen report: Small businesses ‘slighted’

By Lloyd Chapman The Hill May 27, 2015

Public Citizen released an investigative report on May 6 titled “Slighted” with a subtitle, “Accounting Tricks Create False Impressions That Small Businesses Are Getting Their Share of Federal Procurement Money, and the Political Factors That Might Be at Play.”

The investigative report, prompted by research done by my American Small Business League (ASBL), was based on hours of interviews I did with Public Citizen Research Director Taylor Lincoln.

The report was so embarrassing to the Obama administration they cancelled a White House event that was scheduled for Friday, May 8th, the last day of National Small Business Week. The event was to be led by Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, and was to be attended by several members of President Obama’s cabinet and other senior executives of the administration.

If it had not been for the humiliating Public Citizen report, I believe the Obama administration would have announced a record volume of federal contracts had been awarded to small businesses. The Obama administration’s response to the Public Citizen report was likely compounded by press releases I released on May 7th and May 8th predicting the small business contracting numbers released by the SBA would, as usual, be fabricated and inflated with billions in contracts to corporate giants.

Articles such as “It’s time for SBA to get real about small business contracting numbers” by the Washington Business Journal, “Advocacy Group Accuses SBA of Misapplying Law on Small Business Set-Asides” by GovExec and “Small Business Administration Uses Variety of Accounting Tricks To Give Contracts For Small Business To Big Business” by AllGov only added insult to injury for the Obama administration.

Public Citizen politely describes the rampant diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants for over 15 years with a plethora of carefully selected synonyms for fraud. They described the obviously deliberate and intentional abuses as a “phenomenon, errors, inaccurate government data, misreporting, errors by the government, incorrect reporting, some contractors may misrepresent or erroneously calculate their size, misapplication of small business rules, does not appear to have a basis in law, did not meet the requirements to qualify as small business, inflated, do not necessarily present a true picture, significant anomalies, dereliction in complying with requests, short changed, inflate the reported share, errors that categorize large business as small and errors, anomalies and exceptions.”

The Public Citizen investigative report omitted the Small Business Administration’s mathematically and statistically impossible excuse that for over 15 years Fortune 500 firms continued to receive federal small business contracts accidentally through a wide range of random errors such as “miscoding, computer glitches and simple human error.

Of course it’s ludicrous, completely unbelievable and obviously impossible that such a wide array of supposed random mistakes, errors, anomalies and inaccurate government data always seems to cheat American small businesses, inflate government small business contracting data and divert hundreds of billions in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms and thousands of large businesses around the world.

The undeniable truth is that every year for over 15 years the percentage and volume of federal contracts awarded to small businesses has been willfully, intentionally and skillfully fabricated and falsified with the full knowledge and consent of the White House, Congress, the SBA and every federal agency in government.

I am growing weary of being labeled a conspiracy nut for exposing the very fraud and abuse uncovered by the Public Citizen investigative report.

I have lost track of the number of federal investigations and investigative reports in the mainstream media that have exposed the fact the federal government’s small business contracting numbers are falsified and many of the largest corporate giants on earth are the actual recipients of federal small business contracts.

How many more years are the American people expected to put up with the lies and absurd excuses that Fortune 500 firms continue to receive federal small business contracts year after year as a result of miscoding and anomalies?

I say it’s time for Congress to end the blatant fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs and insure the Small Business Act that mandates small businesses receive a minimum of 23 percent of all federal contracts is followed.

If Congress refuses to take appropriate action to finally halt the rampant fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs it will send a clear message to the American people. It will demonstrate that the money, power and influence of the corporate giants that are being allowed to hijack billions in federal small business contracts take precedence over the best interests of the middle class and the 28 million small businesses where most American’s are employed.

It’s time to end the blatant fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs that has gone on for over 15 years or admit our government is run by Fortune 500 firms, or as the Washington media likes to describe it, “broken.

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