Pentagon Sikorsky 9th Circuit Case Weighs Privacy VS Transparency

The San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the American Small Business League's (ASBL) Freedom Of Information Act Request (FOIA) case against the Pentagon on December 14, 2016. The hearing was held following the Pentagon's appeal to overturn the ruling that they disclose Sikorsky Aviation Corporation's most recent subcontracting plan submitted to the Pentagon's Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).

The ASBL originally won their FOIA case against the Pentagon in November of 2014. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ordered the Pentagon to release the Sikorsky data to the ASBL after reviewing the information and deducing nothing in the report constituted as trade secret, proprietary or confidential financial information.

The ASBL believes the CSPTP has allowed the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to circumvent small business subcontracting goals by eliminating all transparency and penalties for non-compliance. Professor Charles Tiefer, a leading expert on federal contracting law, has written a legal opinion agreeing with the ASBL, calling the CSPTP a "sham" and "seriously harmful" to small businesses.

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