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Pentagon sued by American Small Business League over FOIA request

The American Small Business League says it has filed suit in U.S. Federal Court against the Department of Defense for not turning over contracting information requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

By Richard Tomkins

PETALUMA, Calif., May 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Defense is being sued by the American Small Business League for failure to produce requested sub-contracting data.

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, pertains to subcontracting data on Sikorsky Aircraft under the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The organization had requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Under the Subcontracting Plan Test Program, 15 of the Pentagon's top prime contractors don't have to submit quarterly subcontracting reports that would otherwise be available to the public, ASBL said. The contractors can also avoid any penalties for not complying with the small business contracting goals mandated by the government.

The American Small Business League alleges that the plan enables "prime contractors to cheat" legitimate small businesses out of federal contracts.

"This is the biggest scam in the history of federal contracting at the Pentagon and we plan to shut it down," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said in announcing the suit. "You can just imagine what happened to the volume of sub-contracts awarded to small businesses once these prime contractors no longer had to submit reports that were available to the public.

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"There were no negative consequences for failing to achieve their small business contracting goals. I believe the level of fraud and corruption this lawsuit will expose will be unprecedented," Chapman added.

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