As we wrote about last month, a federal judge dismissed the American Small Business League’s (ASBL) request for an injunction against the Small Business Administration (SBA). The injunction had called for the SBA to stop using the “grandfathering rule,” which allows small businesses that have grown or been acquired to still count toward the small business contracting goals, and to stop limiting the pool of dollars considered when calculating whether the government achieved its goals.
But that didn’t end the ASBL’s pursuit. Last week, the organization filed an appeal of that dismissal. And in fact, in throwing out the ASBL’s request for an injunction, the judge didn’t actually say the ASBL was wrong, just simply questioned whether the court was the proper place to decide the matter. He wrote: “The upshot is that Congress enacted a statute requiring the Small Business Administration to provide information about the participation of small businesses in federal contracting. If the Small Business Administration is giving Congress bad information, then Congress can do something about it, either in an oversight or legislative capacity.”
At issue is whether the SBA’s goal of granting 23% of all contracting dollars to small businesses is actually achieved, when some companies qualify as small businesses even after they’ve outgrown the status, and a portion of the acquisition spend is not cordoned off from consideration when calculating the figures. The ASBL is certainly not the only organization to question the SBA’s accounting, but it’s definitely the most persistent.