Alaska Business Insider

Alaska’s economy never stands still. One minute the oil industry is booming while tourism companies are tottering, and the next the construction industry is laying down its hammers while fishermen are enjoying strong catches.

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Revisions to Alaska Native contracting

BECKY BOHRER
The Associated Press

JUNEAU -- A federal agency is implementing what it calls the first comprehensive revisions in more than a decade to a program that gives Alaska Native corporations an edge in obtaining federal contracts.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says the changes to the 8(a) Business Development program will take effect March 14.

The revisions were praised by three Native corporations, which say the new rules promote transparency and accountability without denying sustainable business opportunities to socially and economically disadvantaged companies.

Pending efforts in Congress would strip Native corporations of their contracting edge, amid concerns about how much money is being returned to Alaska Natives.

Among other things, the new rules require companies owned by tribes, Native corporations, Native Hawaiian organizations and community development corporations to report benefits returning to their communities.

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