Advocacy Group Accuses SBA of Misapplying Law on Small Business Set-Asides
As it celebrates National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration is facing renewed accusations that its efforts to reserve work for small contractors have been distorted by accounting tricks and misapplication of the law that permits large companies to win the awards.
Public Citizen, the nonprofit that pushes an anti-corporate view of trade, the environment, campaign finance and product regulation issues, released a report on Wednesday saying SBA “may be flouting the law,” perhaps for political reasons.
The study of controversies over the SBA-coordinated program to help federal agencies meet the goal of 23 percent of purchases from small businesses draws on the work of the Petaluma, Calif.,-based American Small Business League, which has long battled SBA and the Defense Department over the definition of a small business. But the league, Government Executive has learned, does not think Public Citizen’s conclusions go far enough.
The SBA’s claims “that the government has met or nearly met a requirement to make 23 percent of its purchases from small businesses are misleading and rely on methodologies that conflict with federal law and regulations,” argued the report by Taylor Lincoln, research director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.
In 2013, seven of the 10 largest federal contractors received at least one contract that SBA counted toward fulfillment of small business goals, the report said. Of the 100 contractors receiving the most federal dollars counted toward small business goals in 2012, 71 did not meet the government’s standards to qualify as small businesses, the report said, citing the American Small Business League.
Source: Government Executive, Article written by Charles S. Clark, Published on May 8, 2015
For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.