The question of how many small businesses Raytheon which employs more than 600 civilians at Fort Irwin subcontracts with is at the center of a lawsuit against the Department of Defense.

The American Small Business League filed a lawsuit against the defense department Wednesday alleging that the agency has repeatedly refused to release Raytheon's subcontracting reports. The league believes that the Department of Defense is trying to give Raytheon time to modify the reports, according to its president Lloyd Chapman.

"We've done this a lot and when people try to withhold information it's damaging," he said, adding that subcontracting reports are public documents. "It shows they're not complying with federal law and unfortunately the Pentagon has a track record of almost helping people to misrepresent compliance."

Raytheon Technical Services Company, which is owned by Raytheon, provides maintenance support for training and range systems at the National Training Center. The company also helps set up the training scenarios and environments for visiting units who will soon be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under federal law, 23 percent of federal contracts must be rewarded to small businesses. If the league wins the lawsuit, Chapman said it could find that Raytheon has been falsifying its federal subcontracting reports. The league could also find that Raytheon hasn't rewarded enough subcontracts to small businesses, Chapman said.

According to Christopher Gunn, a spokesman with the Small Business League, it's possible that instead of contracting with small businesses, Raytheon is using its own employees to get work done. The small business league has filed 13 lawsuits against the Obama Administration regarding public information in government contracting programs.

Even though she couldn't comment about the lawsuit, Amy Smith, vice president of communications for Raytheon Technical Services Company, said about 6,000 subcontractors are part of the company. The company she works for has provided about $650 million to small businesses, she said.

"Our business small business goals are 20 percent and we're exceeding that," she said. "We're at 30 percent. Thirty percent of the total contract value provided is to small businesses."

In addition to supporting training at the National Training Center, Raytheon trains NASA astronauts and helps ship goods and equipment for the National Science Center in Antarctica.

A spokesperson at the Department of Defense could not be reached for comment Friday.

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