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.
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