President Obama is set to renew the 25 year old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill.
The CSPTP was adopted in 1990 and removed all transparency in federal small business contracting programs for the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors. In addition to removing all transparency the CSPTP also eliminated any penalties for prime contractors that did not comply with federal small business contracting goals.
Prior to the adoption of the CSPTP’s small business subcontracting plans, quarterly and annual subcontracting reports were available to the public. The information could be used to determine if Pentagon prime contractors were complying with federal small business subcontracting goals.
Prior to 1990 when the CSPTP was adopted, Pentagon prime contractors faced “liquidated damages” for failing to make a good faith effort to achieve small business contracting goals. Language in the CSPTP specifically eliminated any penalties such as “liquidated damages” for prime contractors.
The Pentagon has consistently refused to release any data on the CSPTP. The American Small Business League (ASBL) has filed a suit against the Pentagon in Federal District Court in San Francisco after the Pentagon refused to release data on the CSPTP under the Freedom of Information Act.
Even the language in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill acknowledges the failure of the CSPTP.
The ASBL has launched a national campaign to oppose the renewal of the CSPTP. If the CSPTP is renewed the ASBL plans to challenge the renewal of the program in federal court. The ASBL estimates since the CSPTP began in 1990, American small businesses have been defrauded out of over one trillion dollars in Pentagon subcontracts.
ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated, “The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program is the most anti-small business policy ever implemented. You would have to be insane to think removing all transparency and removing any penalties for non-compliance with federal small business goals would help improve subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. The fact that they have called it a “test program” for 25 years is just unbelievable. President Obama should eliminate this anti-small business program immediately, not renew it for another three years.”