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Dec 13, 2007

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Ken Larson

Fine Article. We agree 100%

American Small Business League

Mr. Amey makes several good points regarding the true recipients of federal small business contracts. To rebut Joe Q's allegations, I don't think that Mr. Amey was making the point that it is not in the best interests of small businesses to be sold at a profit. However, I think that he was making the argument that we don't know exactly who the true recipients of federal small business contracts are. It is my understanding that more than 60 billion dollars a year in federal small business contacts are diverted from legitimate small businesses to some the of the largest corporations in the United States and Europe. Just take a look at this list of the Top 50 recipients of federal small business contracts, which was recently released by FEDMINE.US. As you can see, companies like UT Battelle, Bechtel, Blackwater, Thales, Booz Allen Hamilton, and BAE have received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal small business contacts individually and together have received billions of dollars. As Mr. Amey said above, "I think it’s time for someone to genuinely protect the interest of small businesses and Congress might have to lead that charge." I think he is right, and the passage of a bill like S.2300 is the answer.

Fedmine “Top 50”:
http://www.asbl.com/documents/Fedmine.pdf

Raul Espinosa

The small business advocacy community is pleased to finally see POGO tackle the government’s role in causing and perpetuating contracting abuses.’ The debacle small businesses are facing is similar to what baseball is facing with the steroid scandal. Yes, there have been many violators and yes, the sport has been avoiding addressing the issue.

The allegations claiming that SBA is ‘hiding the names of many large businesses’ which have taken ‘set-aside contracts’ to minimize the enormity of the problem or that SBA had claimed that ‘miscoding’ was the main cause of the problem is, actually, insignificant compared to the bigger issue referred to as the ‘FAR exemptions.’ (i.e., the ‘GSA exemption’ and the ‘foreign exemptions.’)

These are alleged illegal regulations which have diverted $640 Billion in Federal contracts away from the statutory rights of small businesses over the last decade. Although 10 years late in addressing the subject, SBA has declared the 'GSA exemption' 'illegal,' and they are expected to issue a similar ruling on the 'foreign exemption' as well.

But, what has the government done about it, one might ask? Nothing! The government agencies, which have benefited the most from these exemptions, have actually avoided adverse decisions taken against them.

A complaint was recently filed with the GAO IG alleging that GSA and DOD were allowed to take questionable actions on protests challenging procurements, which excluded small businesses to prevent GAO from issuing adverse opinions on the ‘legality of the FAR exemptions.’ Those GAO opinions - journalists have acknowledged - would have opened the door to Billions in new contract opportunities for small businesses.

The Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA) which represents the procurement priorities of the groups for whom Congress created the ‘set-aside program’ for, a constituency of 10 million small businesses, wishes for POGO, CREWS, OMB Watch and groups like them, to speak out on this issue and support our struggle to level the playing field by having the ‘FAR Exemptions’ rescinded.

Thanks to a whistle blower statute, the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) will have to issue a crucial ruling on the ‘consistency of the FAR Exemptions with applicable law’ by January 14th, 2008 which would mean their demise unless the Feds stick it to us again! Friendly legal opinions and letters demanding that the FAR Exemptions be rescinded are both needed and wanted. Please write to OFPP and support this cause. Here’s the address where to send the letters: OFPP Administrator; Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC, 20503

Let’s say NO MAS to this abusive behavior and let’s make sure Congress increases contracting oversight and accountability of government agencies.

You can see the FPA challenges against the FAR Exemptions at this link, http://fitnet.net/fpa/press/releases.html


Raul Espinosa, Founder
Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA)

Mrs. John Q. Public

I can't speak for Mr. Amey, but I don't think this blog is about profits or small businesses doing well. I think Joe Q needs a reading comprehension class. The issue is bad SBA data, poor contractor reporting, and small company money going to large companies. The #1 contractor (Procurenet) on SBA's list is owned by SAIC. Should it be considered a small business when it is owned by the 9th largest federal contractor in FY 2006?

http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?&fiscal_year=2006&parent_id=251181&sortby=u&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&detail=0

SBA

Dear SharkGirl:

SBA programs are meant to grow small business in America, not sell your check box status as your core competency.

SharkGirl

Don't count on help from Georgia Senators. They could care less. I have 3 lawsuits right now addressing some of these issues. Since the Pentagon, Senate, House and several military domains hit my site regularly, I posted a bit of sarcasm here about a new contractual vehicle needed.

http://www.facingthesharks.com/2007/dear-congress-new-contractors-contractual-vehicle/

Joe Q. Public

Is there any common sense at POGO? Maybe just a little bit of logic? I guess not as proved by Scott Amey. He argues that it's not in the best interests of a small business to be sold at a profit--get a clue on business before spouting off, Scott! READY, FIRE, AIM! as usual from POGO

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