Dollars keep growing for Alaska Native Corporations

During the past seven years, 8(a)
small businesses owned by Alaska
Native Corporations and American
Indian tribes have made significant strides
in the government information technology
market.

In past years, Washington Technology
included those companies in the Top 25
8(a) list, in which we rank the largest companies
in the program. Last year, 14 of the
Top 25 were ANCs or tribally owned companies.
And for the second year in a row,
the top five 8(a) companies are ANCs or
tribally owned.

This year, we've created a separate list for
those companies. They fall within 8(a)
parameters but also have several contracting
rules that can make them even more
attractive to government buyers and other
companies looking for partners. As they
have grown, a comparison to other 8(a)
small businesses didn't seem appropriate.

For example, the largest ANC ? ASRC
Federal Holding Co. ? had $621.8 million
in prime contracting revenue in fiscal 2007.
In comparison, the largest traditional 8(a)
? USfalcon Inc. ? had $95.4 million,
according to market research firm
FedSources Inc. Those numbers include
8(a) prime contracts and work won under
full-and-open and other competitions.

ASRC is a holding company owned by
the Artic Slope Regional Corp. Under that
umbrella, ASRC owns nine companies,
including ASRC Management Services,
which is ranked No. 3 on the Fast 50 list.
Five of the nine are in the 8(a) program.
Some industry observers say ANCs and
tribally owned companies have an unfair
competitive advantage.

Such companies receive exemptions
from any ceiling on sole-source contracts.
Other 8(a) companies can receive sole-source
awards only for manufacturing contracts
worth as much as $5 million or less
or services contracts worth $3 million.
Competition is required for all other contracts.
ANCs and tribal 8(a) companies can
win contracts of any size.

But those companies also are required to
use their profits to fund improvements for
their shareholders ? Alaska natives. For
instance, in 2004, ANCs paid Alaska
natives more than $27 million in dividends
from profits on federal contracts and
donated $4.9 million to community cultural
and social support programs for the
Alaskan native community, according to
the Web site for Chenega Corp., No. 2
on the list with $327.7 million in prime
contracts. ANCs also funded $14 million
in scholarships from 1999 to 2004.

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