On April 26th, President Barack Obama established a Small Business Task Force to supposedly remove barriers to small businesses landing contracts with the federal government. I had to laugh out loud. This was amusing to me for many reasons, but most notably, President Obama ignored the recommendations of his last small business task force. It was established during his presidential campaign, and I was on it.
We spent months coming up with solid and practical solutions to help small businesses. He never adopted a single one of our recommendations. It turned out to be the first of many Obama, “all talk and no action,” programs for small businesses.
In my humble opinion, the number one barrier to small businesses landing more federal contracts is President Obama himself. All you need to do is take a quick look at President Obama’s actual track record for small businesses to predict what the recommendations of his small business task force will be.
Since 2003, a series of federal investigations have found that most federal small business contracts actually go to Fortune 500 firms. Report 5-15 from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General referred to the rampant fraud and abuse as, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today…” (http://www.asbl.com/documents/05-15.pdf) The SBA IG has reported this as the number one management challenge facing the SBA for the last five consecutive years.
The latest data released by the Obama Administration clearly, and undeniably, shows the largest recipient of federal small business contracts last year was Textron, Inc., a Fortune 500 firm with over 43,000 employees and over $14 billion a year in annual revenue. Other firms that received U.S. government small business contracts included, Lockheed Martin, Dell Computer, Xerox, General Dynamics, ManTech, Raytheon, Boeing, Office Depot and General Electric.
President Obama was clearly aware of this issue in February of 2008, when he released the statement, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.” (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php) To date, he has consistently refused to adopt any polices to keep his campaign promise and end the daily flow of over $400 million a day in federal small business contracts to corporate giants.
It gets worse. On March 12th of this year the Obama Administration removed, and potentially permanently destroyed ten-years worth of data that had been used by federal investigators to uncover billions of dollars in fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs. Obama officials removed the “small business flag,” field, in which Fortune 500 firms have illegally misrepresented themselves as small businesses for years. Report 5-16 from the SBA IG referred to these misrepresentations as, “false certifications” and “improper certifications.” Other federal investigations described the blatant fraud as “vendor deception.” Now all evidence of the abuses has been removed.