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Government Challenged on Small Biz Claims

OAKLAND, CALIF. (CN) - The U.S. Small Business Administration claims it awarded $77.7 billion to small businesses in 2006, but when the American Small Business League asked for a list of these "small businesses," the federal agency essentially responded, "Go find it yourself," the League says in a FOIA claim in Federal Court.

The League says the Small Business Administration responded to its FOIA request by referring it to the Federal Procurement Data Service, an online database with information on all federal contracts, from which it extracted the data about contracts to small businesses.

But the League says it specifically stated that a reference to the private database would not be considered an adequate response, because no one outside of the Small Business Administration knows the criteria it uses to define "small business" and arrive at the contract amounts.

The League claims the Small Business Administration must have compiled a list of businesses and their contract amounts in order to issue its press release. It wants to see the list, and it wants attorney fees.

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