Letter: Special contracting treatment hurts Alaska Native firms


Regarding “Clinton: Alaska Native firm may have gotten unfair bonus,” Alaska Native, Indian Tribe and Hawaiian Native companies can be awarded noncompetitive contracts through the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program for any dollar value. The $3 million to $5.5 million threshold and justification applied to regular 8(a) companies for noncompetitive contracts does not apply to these other categories. It would be interesting to find out if this $475 million Homeland Security Department contract was competitive or not.


Regardless, allowing awards noncompetitively to these classes of contractors should be limited to the same requirements as regular 8(a) companies. The ability to award large contracts noncompetitively to these classes of contractors is a terrible temptation to program and contracting officials who seem to be perpetually short of personnel and time. Also, the companies may not be capable of doing the work so they subcontract the real meat of the effort to other contractors, usually large businesses, with no Native or Indian connection. This is a further abuse of a program meant to assist these classes of contractors and their people.


Tony DeVico
Former program contracting officer at Naval Air Systems Command


What do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to [email protected] (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.

Featured

  • Budget
    Stock photo ID: 134176955 By Richard Cavalleri

    House passes stopgap spending bill

    The current appropriations bills are set to expire on Oct. 1; the bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass.

  • Defense
    concept image of radio communication (DARPA)

    What to look for in DOD's coming spectrum strategy

    Interoperability, integration and JADC2 are likely to figure into an updated electromagnetic spectrum strategy expected soon from the Department of Defense.

Stay Connected