November 20, 2008
Petaluma, Calif. - President-elect Obama's pre-election promises to end dramatic and well-documented abuses in federal small business contracting programs are conspicuously absent from the "Agenda" on the new Obama-Biden Change.gov website. (www.change.gov)
In February Senator Obama released this statement, "It's time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." The Obama statement was in response to a series of federal investigations and mainstream media stories that found the Bush Administration had diverted billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms. (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)
Some of the federal investigations found "false certifications" and "vendor deception" were responsible for large businesses receiving government small business contracts. (http://www.sba.gov/ig/05-16.pdf)
The Department of Interior Office of Inspector General released a report on July 1st that found they had awarded millions of dollars in government small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms such as Dell Computer, John Deere, Home Depot and Sherwin Williams. (http://www.doioig.gov/upload/2008-G-0024.pdf)
A recent Washington Post investigative story discovered as much as 38.5% of $89 billion in federal small business prime contracts were actually awarded to Fortune 500 firms. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/21/AR2008102102989.html?hpid=topnews)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General released the results of an extensive investigation into the Bush Administration's diversion of government small business contracts to large businesses in 2005. It stated, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today is that large businesses are receiving small business procurement awards and agencies are receiving credit for these awards." (http://www.sba.gov/ig/05-15.pdf)
Based on the federal investigations and information obtained from a series of successful law suits against the Bush Administration, the American Small Business League (ASBL) projects as much as $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts are diverted from middle class firms to Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of other large businesses.
"We are very disappointed that President-elect Obama appears to have already gone back on his campaign pledge to millions of American small business owners. They supported him expecting the 'change' he promised. Considering the dire state of our nation's economy, I cannot imagine why President-elect Obama has not offered any specific plan to end the dramatic abuses in existing federal programs to assist small businesses and firms owned by women, minorities and veterans," stated ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.