The ASBL filed suit to obtain the data, alleging that the SBA had covered up the fact that small business contracts were going to large companies. Now the ASBL is charging that the SBA manipulated the data that was turned over after a court order ruled the ASLB was entitled to see it.
The ASLB and two independent, third-party experts discovered hundreds of "dramatic and glaring discrepancies in the data" - indicating that officials in aWol bu$h's SBA manipulated the data to hide the fact that small business contracts actually wound up being issued to Fortune 500 corporations and other big businesses.
The administration has consistently denied the charge that big businesses are getting their grubby mitts on small business set asides, or in the common parlance, they have been lying about cheating for their fatcat friends. And the data proves it. Some of the largest firms in the world were the actual recipients of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts each year.
Examples of malfeasance below the fold...
- In May of 2007, the SBA went so far as to issue a press release titled, "Myth vs. Fact: SBA and Government Contracting," which stated that it is a myth that large companies, including large, multinational corporations are taking away federal contracts specifically intended for small businesses. After reviewing the data, the ASBL and both third party experts all found that the Bush Administration had in fact included billions of dollars in awards to Fortune 500 corporations and other large businesses in the United States and Europe in its small business contracting statistics. The Bush Administration falsified their compliance with the congressionally mandated 23 percent small business contracting goal by including such corporate giants as Dyncorp, Battelle Memorial Institute, Hewlett Packard, Government Technology Services Inc (GTSI), Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, General Electric, Northstar Aerospace, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. and Raytheon. (http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/news_07-30.pdf)
- The ASBL also discovered that the Bush Administration even included hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to large corporations in Europe such as British Aerospace Engineering Systems (BAE, British), Buhrmann NV (Dutch) and Thales (French). BAE is recognized as one of the five largest defense contractors in the world, and has more than 79,000 employees world wide. Buhrmann NV, headquartered in Amsterdam has more than 19,000 employees and French defense contractor Thales has 52,000 employees, according to Hoovers.com.
- The ASBL also found that contracting numbers to large corporations were manipulated to make it appear as if some firms had received significantly less small business contracting awards than they had. For example, the ASBL found that according to the SBA, BAE Systems Analytical Solutions Inc. received $8.5 million in 2005 and $4 million in 2006. However, Fedmine.us indicates that BAE Systems Analytical Solutions Inc. received small business contracts in excess of $137.6 million in 2005 and $134.5 million in 2006. Fedmine.us is one of several companies with access to the XML data feed from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS-NG). In another example, the SBA reported that Battelle Memorial Institute received $12,801 in 2005, but data from both third party experts indicated that Battelle had actually received more than $900 million during 2005. The ASBL found a pattern where contracts to large firms were altered in the same way they were with BAE and Battelle.
- The ASBL also discovered that the Bush Administration was forced to make a systematic counter balancing increase in the volume of contracts awarded to legitimate small businesses to prevent the total amount of contracts awarded for 2005 and 2006 from being diminished. Consequently, awards to legitimate small businesses were systematically inflated to equalize the reduction of small business contract dollars awarded to Fortune 500 corporations. The ASBL found that according to SBA numbers, Circle B Enterprises Inc. received $887.5 million during 2005. However, Fedmine.us indicates that Circle B Enterprises Inc. received $287.5 million during 2005, which represents a discrepancy of $600 million. The ASBL found several other instances of significant inflation of small business contracting numbers in legitimate small businesses.
While he was SBA Administrator, Steven Preston continually parroted the denial that large businesses were receiving small business contracts, but in June 2007 he adopted the SBA's 5-year re-certification and "grandfathering" protocol that allowed some of those companies to continue suckling at the small business teat through 2012.
"Based upon a number of federal investigations that have been done on this subject, such as 5-14, 5-15, and 5-16 from the SBA Office of Inspector General and our analysis of this information, it looks like the pattern that we are seeing in 2005 and 2006 will be repeated every year during the Bush Administration. If that holds true, the Bush Administration will have diverted somewhere between $500 and $800 billion from our nation's middle class economy," President of the ASBL, Lloyd Chapman said. "It's time for Congress to call for a GAO investigation to get to the bottom of this issue. The Bush Administration has consistently tried to paint me as a conspiracy theorist. Based on the release of this data and the fact that I have won five federal lawsuits against the Bush Administration, I expect that will be a more difficult job for them in the future. I would like to see the media report this story accurately and responsibly and start listening to sources outside the SBA's press office. The facts don't lie."
Up to $800 billion, diverted from small businesses and the middle class American economy. We're perilously close to talking about real money here.
The ASBL is continuing to audit the data and a more detailed report on their findings will be released within 30 days. The information is now available on the ASBL's website.