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Alaska Paper: Native Program Being 'Abused'

POSTED: 06:28 PM ET, 10/ 9/2008 by Derek Kravitz

A program allowing Native Alaskan companies to score no-bid contracts from the federal government is being abused, the editorial board of the Anchorage Daily News wrote, days after The Post's Robert O'Harrow found that the Food and Drug Administration was using the policy to award a contract to a Washington firm.

O'Harrow found that the FDA awarded the no-bid $300,000 contract to Alaska Newspapers Inc., an Alaska native corporation that qualifies for special "set-asides," meaning the firm doesn't have to compete for federal work.

In turn, Alaska Newspapers agreed to hand over the contract to a Washington public relations firm, Qorvis Communications, allowing the FDA to hand-pick its desired firm.

After the findings were revealed, FDA deputy commissioner John Dyer suspended the contract and ordered an independent investigation.

The Anchorage Daily News opined that modest reforms would help stave off such arrangements.

"As the FDA case shows, the 8(a) program gives established contractors powerful incentives to use a Native corporation partner as a 'front' for getting a no-bid federal contract," the editorial says.

By Derek Kravitz |  October 9, 2008; 6:28 PM ET Post Investigations
Previous: After Afghan Probe, Military Vows Changes | Next: Abramoff Scandal Figure Indicted Again


Please email us to report offensive comments.

this has been going on for over six years!!!

and it's now being investigated?

just go to the website

you can see how many $billions of dollars these poor disadvantaged alaskan native corporations have bilking the taxpayers on this disadvantaged stuff.

in fact, they are all basically shell corporations...they get contracts all over the country and around the world...largely DoD contracts..

they hardly do any of the work... all the big boys use them as front companies.. yea the lockmarts, northrop grummans, GD, raytheons, etc.

somebody tell sara palin -- thanks but no thanks

alaska is a big welfare state with only 600,000 people in it.

Posted by: frank | October 9, 2008 8:17 PM

I do believe if you do a little checking around you will see how much money went thru this Alaskan company for post Hurricane Katrina contracts.

Posted by: avahome | October 10, 2008 10:14 AM

Ted Stevens got this put into law more than a decade ago, and the WaPo just now discovered it ?

Why not have a reporter look at how many sole-source contracts have been awarded for over $1 Billion through this exemption to the $3 Million cap to such awards ?

This has completely perverted all statistics kept on how much of federal contracts go to small businesses.
Bona fide small businesses, who make up over 50% of all business in the US, gets a little over 5% of federal contract dollars. But by creating this category of shell ANC's, and allowing it as a way to sole source to whoever the end user wants, regardless of the intent of the law, statistics indicate falsely that 23% of dollars go to small business.

Its a scam.

Posted by: Brian | October 10, 2008 11:39 AM

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