Published on Forbes.com on June 5th, an article entitled, “Trump Administration Fails At Creating Jobs By Missing Small Business Contract Targets,” contends that the Small Business Administration (SBA) significantly inflates government small business data by including billions in federal contracts to Fortune 500 firms in the volume of contracts the SBA claimed were awarded to small businesses.
The author of the article, Professor Charles Tiefer, is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on government contracting, federal contracting law and legislation. He is a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Professor Tiefer has written several legal opinions that challenge the accuracy of small business contracting data released by the SBA.
The SBA released their report for fiscal year 2016 claiming small businesses received $99.96 billion in federal contracts and 24.34 percent of all federal contracts in 2016.
In his article, Professor Tiefer states, “Of the $99.96 billion the SBA claimed went to small businesses, it appears no more than 50% of that number went to firms that currently legally qualify as small businesses. In reality, legitimate small businesses may well have received no more than $50 billion in federal contracts and subcontracts in FY 2016. That would come out to just mid-single digit percentages of the full level of federal acquisitions for FY 2016, a far cry from the 24.34 percent claimed by the SBA.”
Tiefer also accuses the SBA of excluding the majority of federal acquisitions from their calculations in claiming small businesses received 24.34 percent of all federal contracts. He states, “First, the SBA is counting federal acquisitions for FY 2016 at around $410 billion. That is an artificial and unconvincing low figure. I have written in the past that the actual figure is more than double that.”
Professor Tiefer served as solicitor and deputy general counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives for 11 years. He also served as Commissioner on the Congressionally chartered, federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2008-2011.