Alaska Native Corporation Leaders Meet About Proposed 8(a) Program Changes

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The leadership of three Alaska Native Corporations, Southcentral’s Cook Inlet Region Incorporated or CIRI, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, ASRC and interior’s Doyon Corporation collaborated on proposed changes to the Small Business Administration’s 8a program. 8a contracting allows small and minority owned businesses to engage in bidding on government contracts. There are special provisions in place for Alaska Native Corporations and other tribal businesses that have helped them garner millions in government contracts around the world. Some of those provisions for ANCs have drawn fire from other minority 8a contractors and members of congress. Congressional hearings have been held about the provisions.

The three ANC presidents sent a letter to SBA administrator Karen Mills last week, laying out what they’re calling an agenda for transparency, accountability and integrity. Doyon President Norman Phillips Jr. says the three corporate leaders do not see 8a as an entitlement. They realize change is inevitable and they want to help shape it.

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