By ASBL, Special for USDR
The House Small Business Committee has unanimously adopted an amendment that would initiate a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs. The purpose of the investigation is to find out why billions of dollars a year in federal small business contracts are being diverted to Fortune 500 firms.
Congresswoman Janice Hahn wrote the amendment based on research done by Lloyd Chapman’s American Small Business League (ASBL). On March 25, 2015, Hahn issued a press release expressing her concerns on the problem.
The last GAO investigation into fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs, which was also based on information provided by Chapman, was completed in 2003.
A February 2003 story in Washington Technology reported, “The General Accounting Office began its own investigation based on information Chapman provided,” stated by GAO executive, Dave Cooper.
Chapman provided information to the GAO in 2002 that uncovered thousands of corporate giants were receiving federal small business contracts. The GAO investigation found over 5,300 large businesses were the actual recipients of federal small business contracts.
Chapman has won a series of Freedom of Information Act cases that uncovered widespread fraud in federal small business contracting programs. The government was forced to release thousands of pages of documents that proved Fortune 500 firms were the actual recipients of federal contracts that the SBA reported as contracts awarded to small businesses.
In Report 5-15 the SBA Inspector General described the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants as, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the entire Federal Government today.”
At the end of last year the House Small Business Committee chastised SBA’s Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, for including dozens of Fortune 500 companies and other large businesses in their FY2013 small business contracting data.
During his first campaign, President Obama released the statement, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.”
Some of the firms that were uncovered receiving federal small business contracts included, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Walmart, Disney, Apple, Chevron, Bank of America, British Aerospace Engineering (BAE), Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, AT&T and Northrop Grumman.
“Congresswoman Hahn’s amendment could bring an end to the rampant fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs that have cheated legitimate small businesses out of hundreds of billions over the last few years. Being an advocate for small business is not a popular stance in Washington these days and Congresswoman Hahn has demonstrated a great deal of courage and integrity in requesting a new GAO investigation into this very serious problem,” stated Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League.
SOURCE American Small Business League