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Thursday, September 25, 2008

CVBT: "SBA appeals ruling to release contracting data"

The following story ran in the Central Valley Business Times (CVBT) this morning regarding the Small Business Administration's (SBA) decision to appeal its recent court loss to the American Small Business League (ASBL) to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ASBL was shocked by the SBA's decision to move towards decreasing transparency in federal small business contracting programs.

Regarding the SBA's move, attorney for ASBL Robert Belshaw said. "The Small Business Administration's willingness to take this matter to the 9th Circuit Court should be an indication to the media, public and Congress that transparency is not a priority for the SBA at this time. We can see no legal theory which would support an appeal of the district court's decision."


SBA appeals ruling to release contracting data

The U.S. Small Business Administration has decided to appeal a U.S. District Court ruling against them, directing the agency to release the specific names of all recipients of federal small business contracts during federal fiscal years 2005 and 2006.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Small Business League of Petaluma under the Freedom of Information Act after the SBA refused to comply with the ASBL's request.

The ASBL requested the data to prove that during the Bush Administration most small business contracts were actually awarded to Fortune 500 firms.

The case now goes to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Court documents indicating the SBA's justification for appealing the case have not been released

But the founder of ASBL thinks he knows why.

"It's obvious the Bush Administration has something to hide. Why else would they be willing to go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over simple information that should be readily available to every citizen?” says ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.

“Since 2002, there have been 15 federal investigations that have found the Bush Administration has diverted billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to large corporations. That is the real reason the SBA is withholding this data, particularly this close to an election," Mr. Chapman says.

Please click here to view the source for the story: