Washington, DC (USA), April 6th, 2017 -- Daryl Guberman, CEO of Connecticut-based G-PMC Group, LLC, and a possible candidate for U.S. Senate (http://www.DarylGuberman.com) asked the FTC to investigate whether the aerospace giant Lockheed Martin violated antitrust laws and possibly engaged in espionage by colluding with China-led International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and Wisconsin-based ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). Both IAF and ANAB are currently under investigation by the American Board of Accredited Certifications (ABAC), a private non-partisan accreditation body and observer group that over-sees, investigates and sets rules for recognized certification and accreditation bodies in the United States.
Guberman and MFGpartners president Don LaBelle have submitted complaints to the FTC's Bureau of Competition alleging Lockheed Martin is restraining competition by only accepting a single accreditation body group for its suppliers certified to the AS9100 standard. Guberman said Lockheed Martin's leadership will only recognize certificates of suppliers and prospective suppliers with certification bodies recognized by the Chinese led International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The Chairman & President of IAF is Chinese national Xiao Jianhua (See: dguberman.com/Lockheed_Weakens_US_Defense.pdf)
"It's a slap in the face to every American citizen and taxpayer knowing Lockheed Martin, the country's largest federal contractor receiving billions in tax dollars is forcing the hand of American manufacturers by requiring their ISO certification is accredited and/or recognized by China-led International Accreditation Forum (IAF)," said Guberman. He added, "The FTC must investigate this matter for the possibility of corporate espionage, collusion with a foreign led entity, and perhaps treason."
If elected Senator, Guberman said he will push for a new Antitrust Act, a bipartisan bill to hold organizations accountable, particularly federally-funded corporations shown to be restraining competition by utilizing an anti-competitive accreditation scheme designed to limit the recognition of certification bodies lacking accreditation and/or membership of a particular non-governmental organization or collaborated group. In short, the bill will ensure equal opportunity for registration companies certifying businesses to quality management standards set forth by The International Organization for Standardization, which is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.
The Sherman Act already outlaws every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade, and any monopolization, attempted monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize. The penalties for violating the Sherman Act can be severe, individuals and businesses that violate it may be prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
ABAC warned the quality community last year of a strategically designed and well funded accreditation program that is potentially enabling corporations such as Lockheed Martin to violate antitrust laws without appearing to be in violation by claiming the accreditation is an "option" or simply a "preference" over alternative sources. Guberman said in Lockheed Martin's documentation, the company is allegedly concealing its antitrust activities by claiming its requirement for IAF recognition and/or ANAB accreditation is only a "preference" for its suppliers. Suspiciously, none of Lockheed Martin's first-tier suppliers appear to be certified by an ISO registrar independent of the ANAB-IAF collaboration. The complaint cites even more troubling is Lockheed Martin management sits on the board of IAF as an associate member, and enjoys voting privileges on policies. Conflict of interest? See dguberman.com/fff.pdf
ABAC reported last year both ANAB and IAF may be controlled by the same individual. Tax records show Randy Dougherty, an individual believed to be living in Michigan serves in leadership roles for both the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). See: dguberman.com/IAF_tax_report.pdf
"Lockheed Martin has monopoly power in the aerospace industry and it's possibly using that dominance to coerce its suppliers to pay ANAB and IAF accreditation and membership fees without an option for an alternative source," said LaBelle. He concluded, "Anti-competitive practices have a negative effect on the economy, pricing, and quality because of limited options for the buyer, and therefore, the Federal Trade Commission needs to investigate if Lockheed Martin is engaging in anti-competitive business practices, and whether or not the aerospace conglomerate is aware of the widely unknown collaboration between IAF and ANAB and it's leadership connection, especially the China-led International Accreditation Forum."
Guberman's complaint warns the accreditation scheme could be defrauding taxpayers more seriously than originally reported. Public records show The Department of Commerce NIST (National Institute of Standards Technology) has awarded millions of dollars to the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) which has 60 NIST-MEP entities in 50 states. Guberman said all of them follow the same anti-competitive accreditation scheme by "recommending" only certification bodies accredited by The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), without providing an alternative source. The NIST-MEP-ANAB collaboration is designed to shut out ANAB competitors in which NIST sends millions in federal funds to MEP entities across the country, and in return MEP exclusively promotes ANAB by claiming it to be their "preferred" accreditation body for ISO certifications. The NIST-MEP-ANSI-ANAB accreditation scheme was first exposed by Guberman-PMC at: dguberman.com/NIST_ANAB_ANSI_ASQ_IAF_IAAC.pdf
A spokesperson for the American Board of Accredited Certifications said ABAC will continue to push the Federal Trade Commission to do its job and protect taxpayers by pursuing anti-competitive conduct as violations of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which bans unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices such as the 'pay-to-play' accreditation scheme running wild in the certification of quality management systems that has spread without checks and balances to private, public and government sectors. See dguberman.com/Pay_To_Play_In_Quality.pdf
About American Board of Accredited Certifications (ABAC):
The American Board of Accredited Certifications (ABAC) was founded by a group of quality professionals in 2003 as a division of the Industrial Leaders Group with roots dating back to 1993. Today, ABAC is the leading independent accreditation board in the United States with association members, signatories, regional accreditation groups, and international observer organizations. As a private non-partisan accreditation body and observer group, ABAC over-sees, investigates and sets rules for recognized certification and accreditation bodies in the United States.
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