PETALUMA, Calif.--()--The following is a statement by the American Small Business League:
“ASBL has a right of access to the documents requested pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(3), and there is no legal basis for USAF’s denial of such access. Accordingly, ASBL seeks an order from this court compelling USAF to provide the requested information.”
The American Small Business League (ASBL) has filed suit against the Air Force after the agency refused to release small business subcontracting reports on federal contracts with Rockwell Collins.
This is the second time in two weeks that the ASBL has filed suit against the Defense Department to compel the release of subcontracting reports from prime contractors. On Monday, June 11th, the ASBL filed suit against the Pentagon for release of subcontracting reports for contracts with Hewlett Packard.
In 1994, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that subcontracting reports are releasable to the public and do not contain trade secrets or proprietary information.
In the complaint for injunctive relief, ASBL attorney Robert Belshaw states that, “ASBL has a right of access to the documents requested pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(3), and there is no legal basis for USAF’s denial of such access. Accordingly, ASBL seeks an order from this court compelling USAF to provide the requested information.”
Over the past decade, the ASBL has won more than 20 similar lawsuits against federal agencies. With each successful lawsuit, the ASBL has compelled the release of contracting and subcontracting reports that found prime contractors and federal contracting officials are falsifying federal small business contracting data.
During his 2008 campaign President Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in history. However, while the federal government as a whole received fewer FOIA requests during the first years of the Obama Administration, agencies have increasingly said “no” to requesters looking for public documents.
“It’s time for the Justice Department to quit helping the Pentagon withhold evidence of felony contracting fraud and start investigating the rampant abuses that go on in federal small business contracting programs,” ASBL President and founder Lloyd Chapman said. “Every single person in America would agree with me that Fortune 500 firms shouldn’t receive federal small business contracts, but apparently President Obama has a different opinion. If President Obama were really serious about creating jobs in America, he’d simply quit giving federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms— but you won’t see him doing that.”