, , , , ,

Ssenator Claire McCaskill (D) will be chairing an oversight hearing today on contracting through Alaska Native Corporations.

Staff Analysis [pdf] – United States Senate, Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONTRACTING OVERSIGHT


July 6,2009                                                              


Subcommittee will hold hearing at 2:30 PM [1:30 p.m. Central] today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight majority staff has released an analysis of data collected from 19 Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs).  The subcommittee, chaired by Senator Claire McCaskill, will hold a public hearing at 2:30 PM today on contracting loopholes that allow ANCs to bypass a competitive bidding process while receiving contracts unlimited in size as part of a government small business program, despite their large size…

….The analysis was compiled from information and data provided to the subcommittee by 19 ANCs last month, following a request from the subcommittee.  The subcommittee released a preliminary analysis of publicly-available data on ANC contracts last month as well.

Alaska Native Corporations were created by a 1971 law that aimed to foster economic development in Alaska, and in 1986, Congress made ANCs eligible to participate in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program. Generally, to qualify for the 8(a) program a business must be socially and economically disadvantaged, and must be relatively small. These eligible businesses can then be awarded small federal contracts on a sole-source basis, but those contracts must be under $5.5 million for goods or $3.5 million for services.  In the 1980s and early 1990s, however, Congress carved out several exemptions for ANCs, deeming them to automatically qualify as both socially and economically disadvantaged and giving them the ability to receive no-bid contracts of any size under the 8(a) program. As a result, ANCs are uniquely eligible to receive huge federal contracts without having to compete with other bidders.

Hearing Details:

Who: Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight

What: Public Hearing on Contracting Preferences for Alaska Native Corporations

When: Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 2:30 PM

Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building Room SD-342

Witnesses: Panel I

·        Shay Assad, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Technology, Department of Defense

·        Joseph Jordan, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration

·        Debra Ritt, Assistant Inspector General for Auditing, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Small Business Administration

Panel II

·        Sarah L. Lukin, Executive Director, Native American Contractors Association

·        Jacqueline Johnson Pata, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians

·        Julie Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives

·        Mark Lumer, Senior Vice President, Federal Programs, Cirrus Technology, Inc.

·        Christina Schneider, Chief Financial Officer, Purcell Construction Corporation  

The live stream of the hearing is here [starting at approximately 1:30 p.m. Central].

Update: The hearing has been adjourned.