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Rep. Clarke Calls for an Investigation in Small Businesses Subcontracting Practices in the Department of Defense

Thursday, October 21st, Representative Yvette D. Clarke sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO) requesting that they investigate the subcontracting practices of the Department of Defense (DoD). The program in question is the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) which was designed to increase federal contracts given out to small businesses. However, according to the American Small Business League, an advocacy group for small businesses, this program has failed to meet its standards.

“Until the program is evaluated and audited there is no way of knowing whether these small businesses actually received their due contracts, or whether the money went to other large contractors,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

The program, established in 1990, eliminates the availability of subcontracting reports, and cut penalties to companies that did not comply. In the 20 years this program has been in existence it has yet to be evaluated. According to federal data, participants of the CSPTP received $47 billion in contracts from DoD during fiscal year (FY) 2009. 1 out of every 6 dollars spent by DoD during FY 2009 was awarded to participants of the program.

“As a Member of the House Small Business Committee, I know the importance of the federal government meeting goals that it has put in place to create business opportunities for small businesses. Evaluating the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) is imperative so that we fully understand if this program has created the subcontracting opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses that it was designed to do. For 20 years this program has been in place, and now is the time we fully examine its progress,” added Rep. Clarke.

“Small businesses are the economic engine for our country. Know that I will continue to hold a high level of accountability for our federal government on behalf of our small businesses nationwide,” concluded Rep. Clarke.