Alaskan firms may provide subcontracting credit

Proposed rule

Deals with some Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) could count toward small-business subcontracting goals under a proposed rule published today.

The rule would also encompass other American Indian tribes. Subcontracts awarded to such companies would count toward contractors’ goals for subcontracting to small businesses and small disadvantaged businesses, even if the business isn't small by Small Business Administration standards.

The public comment period on the rule lasts until Aug. 2.

The proposed rule would implement a statute authorizing the inclusion of ANCs and American Indian tribes.

The ANC program, which evolved through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, has been controversial. It allows companies that are at least 51 percent owned by members of Alaska tribes to gain competitive advantages, including some sole-source contracting opportunities.

Some large companies have won government work acting through Alaska companies as partners, leading some critics to charge that the companies can become fronts for larger firms.

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