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Alaska Native corporations await GAO report

Alaska Native corporations are eagerly awaiting the results of a Government Accountability Office investigation into the billions of sole-source, no-bid federal contracts they have received.

Under special legislation that has been upheld by the courts, the corporations have become major players in the federal contracting business. In 2004, they made $2.4 billion on contracts, up 33 percent from the $1.8 billion in 2003, according to the Native American Contractors Association.

The success has raised the eyebrows of people from all sides of the political spectrum -- labor unions, Democrats and Republicans in Congress and even the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Henry C. Alford, the chamber's president, recently sent e-mails that described Native corporations as "white male owned firms based mainly on the East Coast who pledge to kick back a little of their net profits to some Eskimos in Alaska."

Corporation executives -- some of whom are non-Native -- say the criticism is unfounded. They say the sole-source contracts are helping Native communities meet their needs.

Get the Story:
Some say no-bid, no-limit government commissions for Natives are unfair (The Anchorage Daily News 3/19)

Relevant Links:
Native American Contractors Association -

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