Advocacy group sues government over contract data

The small-business group is concerned the loss of historical contracting data could prevent future investigations

A small-business advocacy group has asked a federal court to force the General Services Administration to restore various types of contracting data that the public can no longer access, according to court documents.

The American Small Business League alleges the Obama administration's recent changes to the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation may have eliminated access to scores of contracting data that identify small-business contracts in the governmentwide database, according to court documents filed March 30 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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The group said officials eliminated from the searchable FPDS-NG fields that allow viewers to see what contracts are set aside for small businesses and which companies received federal contracts.

“The removal of the contractor identity and small business identifier fields represents a major move towards decreased transparency in federal contracting data,” the group wrote in the court documents.

Investigators and other groups have used this type of data to uncover fraud and abuses in small-business contracting, according to the filing. The league said watchdog groups like it may be prevented from further investigations into fraudulent behavior without access to the federal data, according to the filings.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.


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