updated 9/23/2010 8:15:49 AM ET 2010-09-23T12:15:49

PETALUMA, Calif., Sept. 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following is a statement by the American Small Business League:

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is refusing to release any and all information relating to the 20-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program ("comprehensive test program").  Although the stated mission of the program was to increase contracts to small businesses, the major elements in the establishment of the program were the elimination of subcontracting reports available to the public, and the elimination of penalties for non-compliance. 

The American Small Business League (ASBL) believes the real purpose of the program is to allow prime contractors to circumvent federal law which requires that 23 percent of contracts be awarded to small businesses.

The ASBL has filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with DoD regarding the program.  To date, the Pentagon has refused to turn over any documents related to the program, or its large prime contractor program participants.

The ASBL points to the Pentagon's refusal to release information on the comprehensive test program as a further indication that the program lacks transparency, and is shading large prime contractors from prosecution under the liquidated damages clause, as they circumvent small business subcontracting goals.

The ASBL has estimated that over the last 20 years, hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business subcontracts have been diverted from legitimate small businesses by participants of the comprehensive test program.  The program is currently slated for renewal as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011.  Bringing an end to this program could direct more than $100 billion dollars back to the middle class economy over the next five years.

"This program simply needs to be abolished," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said.  "This test program is nothing more than a scam, and it would be a crime to reauthorize this program.  Ending this fraud and abuse would direct billions of dollars a year in federal spending to our nation's middle class and create thousands of jobs."

The ASBL plans to file a series of lawsuits against the pentagon to force the release of detailed information on the comprehensive test program, which will show the pentagon has allowed prime contractors to circumvent the law and commit fraud.

The American Small Business League logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7286

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