Higher-ups at the Aerobics Center aren’t smiling these days. Last summer, two U.S. Army generals contacted the Institute for Aerobics Research in hopes that the organization would submit a bid for a physical-training program for Army fitness leaders. Several weeks after the bid was submitted, the center received unofficial word that the institute had been chosen. Shortly afterward, institute officials heard that the contract had been awarded to an organization in Virginia. Why? The funding for the program was earmarked for a small business; the Institute for Aerobics Research is a nonprofit organization. However, the institute is just one of three organizations in the Aerobics Center; the other two (the Aerobics Activities Center and the Cooper Clinic) are both profit-making businesses.
Dr. Tom Collingwood of the Aerobics Center says that if the center had been notified of the problem, the bid for the contract would have been made through one of its profit organizations. The institute, which has several other contracts with the Army, is now appealing to the Federal General Accounting Office for reconsideration.
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