The American Small Business League says it plans to release a full-length documentary chronicling a history of corruption and fraud in federal small business contracting programs.
Although the Small Business Administration reported in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 that federal agencies had achieved the goal to award nearly 25 percent of government contracts to small businesses, SBA watchdogs including ASBL argued that many of those contracts actually went to large corporations.
The SBA isn’t expected to release an FY2015 federal contracting scorecard until June, but yesterday ASBL released its own analysis of 2015 activity based on the Federal Procurement Data System. ASBL found that thousands of “clearly large businesses” including 151 Fortune 500 firms received billions in federal small business contracts again last year.
According to ASBL, some of the biggest Fortune 500 beneficiaries of small business contracts include A-Mark Precious Metals with $481 million in contracts; Verizon with $108 million; Anthem with $31 million; consumer products holding company Jarden Corporation with $23 million; drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen with $12 million; transportation fuel products financer World Fuel Services at $4 million; and Hewlett Packard, IBM, and the mason-jar maker Ball Corporation at over $3 million each. Other household name brands from Apple to Wells Fargo also received federal contracts meant for small businesses, ASBL says.
“The government has done everything they can to cover this up, where you can’t tell who’s getting government contracts,” President Lloyd Chapman says in a video on the ASBL website. “They’ve removed the parent company’s Dunn & Bradstreet number off the database, you can no longer see how many employees a company has, or their annual revenue. You can’t even tell what business they’re in. Any time you want any information from any federal agency about who gets small business contracts, you’re going to court.”
ASBL calls 2015 the sixteenth consecutive year that federal small business contracts have been diverted to corporate giants. It says the documentary will be released this coming spring.