President Obama is just a few weeks away from signing the 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 4435) into law. Buried deep inside the bill, hidden away in section 811, is the oldest, most vile, anti-small business, job killing legislation in U.S. history. It’s called the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP). Catchy name, it sounds a lot better than the Lets Screw American Small Businesses Out of Trillions of Dollars and Cover Up Rampant Pentagon Contracting Fraud Plan.
Under the guise of “increasing subcontracting opportunities for small businesses” the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program has two provisions. One, the total and complete elimination of any and all transparency. Under this program, the public is unable to see any information on what a Pentagon prime contractor’s small business subcontracting goals are. More importantly, the public has no access to any information on whether a prime contractor is achieving their small business subcontracting goals.
Secondly, here comes the best part, to “increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses,” this program eliminates all penalties such as “liquidated damages” for non-compliance with small business subcontracting goals required by federal law.
Think about it. Under the guise of helping small businesses, this Pentagon program removes all transparency and then eliminates any penalties for prime contractors that cheat small businesses out of hundreds of billions of dollars in subcontracts.
Here is the most astonishing aspect of this program. It’s a “Test Program”. What is a reasonable time to test if eliminating transparency and penalties for Pentagon prime contractors would actually help small businesses? How about 25 years? That’s right, the Pentagon has been testing the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program since 1990.
Even the language in the Chairman’s Mark of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill acknowledges the absurdity of this program. It states, “However, after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the test program has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goal of the program…”
In just a few weeks President Obama will sign the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill into law and it will renew the most vile, anti-small business, anti-middle class, job killing federal program in history into its 28th year of testing. Un-flipping believable!