Earlier this year, I wrote about how Alaska Native Corporations are gaming the 8(a) small business development program and getting money for nothing.
For too long, ANCs have operated in the shadows. So it’s heartening to report during Sunshine Week that their good thing is slowly coming to an end.
Effective yesterday, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration must justify sole source contracts over $20 million. It’s an interim rule but it’s a start.
While ANCs are not singled out, they are the target. Government Executive reports:
The regulatory change, which was required in the 2010 Defense Authorization bill, could have serious implications for Alaska native corporations, which, along with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, are eligible to receive 8(a) contracts of any value. All other 8(a) participants are capped at receiving sole-source contracts of $3.5 million for services and $5.5 million for manufacturing.
Ostensibly, the rule is designed to prevent ANCs from passing most of the work on big-budget contracts through to large subcontractors. While the new provision technically refers to all 8(a) contractors, Obama administration officials concede the rule affects tribes, ANCs and NHOs most directly.
Let the sun shine in. For more info on Alaska Native Corporations, check out the ProPublica series of stories.