Many of the government's top small-business contractors no longer qualify as small firms under federal size restrictions, according to the Small Business Administration.
Last year, 100 companies received about $12 billion in federal procurement funds set aside for small businesses, roughly a sixth of all small-business contract dollars in 2006, according to contracting data released by the agency last week. Of these businesses, 16 have since outgrown their small-business designations, while 10 were acquired by or merged with larger companies, the agency said. As a result, none of them count towards the government's small-business contracting target of 23 percent for 2007.
Only one company -- DYNCORP, which was awarded an $87,915 contract -- was miscoded as a small business, while the rest were "properly classified as small businesses when they originally won their contracts," the agency said.
Democrat lawmakers and other critics have accused the agency of turning a blind eye to miscoding, which they say has led to millions of dollars in small-business contracts going to Microsoft, Wal-Mart and other large corporations.
"Releasing this list is part of SBA's on-going efforts to increase transparency, accuracy, and integrity of government small business contracting data," SBA Administrator Steven Preston said in a statement.